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I, Daniel Blake - Winners' acceptance speech, Outstanding British Film, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2017

12 February 2017

Winners' acceptance speech by Ken Loach, Rebecca O'Brien and Paul Laverty for I, Daniel Blake in the Outstanding British Film category


KEN LOACH: Well, wow. This is extraordinary. A huge thank you to the academy, and from all of us, from all who made the film, starting with Paul and Rebecca, who wrote the script and produced, to our two actors and those who made it and the people in Newcastle, and to the distributors, eOne. And thank you to the Academy for endorsing the truth of what the film says, which hundreds of thousands of people in this country know, and that is that the most vulnerable and the poorest people are treated by this government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful, and it's a brutality that extends to keeping out refugee children that we have promised to help, and that is a disgrace too. But films can do many things; they can entertain, they can terrify, they can take us to worlds of the  imagination, they can make us laugh, and they can tell us something about the real world we live in. And in that real world - it is a bit early for a political speech, I am sorry - it is getting darker, as we know.

And in the struggle that's coming between the rich and the powerful, the wealthy and the privileged, and the big corporations and the politicians who speak for them, on the one hand, and the rest of us on the other, then filmmakers - and we are all filmmakers here -the  filmmakers know which side they are on, and despite the glitz and the glamour of occasions like this, we are with the people. Thanks for this.