Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber Acquire U.S. Rights to Ken Loach’s 'The Old Oak'
“After seven decades as Britain’s tireless socio-political chronicler, [Loach] could hardly have delivered a more resonant, timely or indeed angry swansong than this feature which takes up arms against the decay of national compassion.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen International
“A timely story about modern Britain, immigration, and xenophobia. A parting statement from Loach––one last rallying cry for solidarity––and a fitting coda
to his six-decade long career.”
– Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage
“A ringing statement of faith in compassion for the oppressed… a film-making language utterly without the cynical twang that is de rigueur for everyone else.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber, two of the leading distribution companies for art-house and international films in the U.S., announced today that they have acquired all U.S. rights to Ken Loach’s The Old Oak, with a screenplay by his frequent collaborator Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Sorry We Missed You). The Old Oak will open theatrically in early 2024 at Film Forum in New York with a national release to follow.
The release of The Old Oak reunites Loach with Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber following their 2020 release of his film Sorry We Missed You. Loach, who is 87 years old, has announced that The Old Oak will be his final film.
The Old Oak is the last pub standing in a once thriving mining village in northern England, a gathering space for a community that has fallen on hard times. There is growing anger, resentment, and a lack of hope among the residents, but the pub and its proprietor TJ are a fond presence to their customers. When a group of Syrian refugees move into the floundering village, a decisive rift fueled by prejudices develops between the community and its newest inhabitants. The formation of an unexpected friendship between TJ and a young Syrian woman named Yara opens up new possibilities for the divided village in this deeply moving drama about loss, fear, and the difficulty of finding hope.
In a statement, Ken Loach and Rebecca O’Brien’s Sixteen Films said, “We’re delighted that Zeitgeist has taken The Old Oak for distribution in the U.S. It’s great that they’ve chosen to partner with us again after working together on Sorry We Missed You. We feel that Zeitgeist Films is ideally placed to help our film reach the widest possible audience in the territory and know they will release the film with gusto.”
Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo are thrilled to work with Ken Loach again, saying, “The Old Oak is a culmination of Loach and Laverty’s continuing concern with the most pressing issues of our time. We were truly brought to tears by this extremely relevant and moving story. The feelings expressed in this film are a reminder that a bit of kindness and understanding make a huge difference.”
Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman negotiated the deal with Eva Diederix of Goodfellas. Pacific Northwest Pictures will release the film in Canada.