Principal photography on the Studiocanal UK, Sixteen Films and Why Not Productions drama, which stars Dave Turner (Sorry We Missed You) and newcomer Ebla Mari and is written by Paul Laverty, began today in the North East of England.
Loach’s previous two films — I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You — were also shot in the same part of the UK.
The Old Oaks is based around a pub that is not only the last local standing, but also the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once thriving mining community that has now fallen on hard times after 30 years of decline.
Landlord TJ Ballantyne (Turner) hangs on by his fingertips, and his predicament is made harder when the pub becomes contested territory after the unexpected arrival of Syrian refugees. He makes an unlikely friendship curious young Syrian Yara (Mari). Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? So unfolds a deeply moving drama about their fragilities and hopes.
Sixteen’s Rebecca O’Brien produces for Sixteen Films. She worked with Loach and Laverty on Sorry We Missed You, I, Daniel Blake and Looking for Eric.
Sixteen Films and Why Not are co-production with the support of the BFI and BBC Film and in co-production with Les Films du Fleuve. Wild Bunch International is handling international sales.
Studiocanal will release it in the UK and Ireland in 2023.