Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Red Carpet for Premiere; GEORDIE STAR BRINGS HIS PALME D'OR FILM HOME

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Red Carpet for Premiere; GEORDIE STAR BRINGS HIS PALME D'OR FILM HOME

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE Culture Editor david.whetstone@trinitymirror.com

I, Daniel Blake director Ken Loach, right, and lead actor Dave Johns at last night's premiere at the Tyneside Cinema. Inset, a scene from the film, showing Johns with Hayley Squires, who plays Katie. Main picture: Lewis Arnold A RED carpet was laid out in Newcastle for the stars and makers of I, Daniel Blake - the award-winning film about the welfare system, where people never get that kind of treatment.

The film, directed by Ken Loach, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in the summer and has moved audiences at film festivals around the world.

It is due for release on October 21 but there have been advance screenings and, last night, the stars, the director and the screenwriter, Paul Laverty, attended a premiere at the Tyneside Cinema.

The film, shot in Newcastle, stars Geordie comedian Dave Johns as Daniel Blake and London actress Hayley Squires as young mum Katie.

With no soundtrack and Ken Loach's trademark understated style - it's drama but it looks like real life - the film charts the efforts of the pair to negotiate the benefits system as, for different reasons, they hit rock bottom.

They meet in a JobCentre Plus. Daniel is there because he has had a heart attack and been told by his doctor that he can't work.

But he has been deemed fit to work by the "health care professional" working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The film opens with their standard questions - the voice of officialdom over the opening credits - such as: "Can you raise your arm to put something in your top pocket?" Each question begs a flippant answer but flippancy is not allowed.

Having been passed able to work, not quite reaching the 15 points necessary for Employment and Support Allowance, Daniel must go for Jobseekers' Allowance, meaning he must prove he is looking for work that his doctor has told him he's not fit to do. …

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