The Old Oak is a 2023 drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty. It is a co-production between the United Kingdom, France and Belgium.
The Old Oak had its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival where it competed for the Palme d’Or, and was released in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2023, by StudioCanal.
Pub landlord TJ Ballantyne, living in a previously thriving mining community in County Durham, struggles to hold onto his pub and keep it as the one remaining public space where people can meet in the town. Meanwhile, tensions rise when Syrian refugees are placed there, but Ballantyne strikes up a friendship with one of the refugees, Yara (Mari).
- Dave Turner as TJ Ballantyne
- Ebla Mari as Yara
- Claire Rodgerson as Laura
- Trevor Fox as Charlie
- Chris McGlade as Vic
- Col Tait as Eddy
- Jordan Louis as Garry
- Chrissie Robinson as Erica
- Chris Gotts as Jaffa Cake
- Jen Patterson as Maggie
- Arthur Oxley as Archie
- Joe Armstrong as Joe
- Andy Dawson as Micky
- Maxie Peters as Tommy
- Debbie Honeywood as Tania
- Neil Leiper as Rocco
The film was set and shot in the northeast of England. Loach, who turned 87 prior to its release, told The Hollywood Reporter it would “probably” be his last film. Production companies on the film include UK’s Sixteen Films, StudioCanal UK and BBC Film, France’s Why Not Productions, and Belgium’s Les Films du Fleuve. The script was written by Paul Laverty. Rebecca O’Brien produced the film. The film was scored by George Fenton.
Filming began in May 2022, and took place over six weeks. Locations used in County Durham included Murton, Horden and Easington. The pub in Murton that became The Old Oak during filming was a disused pub previously known as The Victoria.
The film premiered in main competition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival on 26 May 2023. It was also invited at the 28th Busan International Film Festival in ‘Icon’ section and will be screened in October 2023.
StudioCanal UK released the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 29 September 2023, and Le Pacte will release the film in France on 25 October 2023.
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