Loach, 79, is one of the nine directors to have won the top prize at Cannes twice. Earlier, Loach had won in 2006 with ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley.’
Addressing the Grand Theatre des Lumieres crowd in French, Loach said, “Thanks to the team, the writer (Paul Laverty), the producer (Rebecca O’Brien) and all the others.”
‘I, Daniel Blake’, shows how Britain’s social security system conspires to drive a downtrodden carpenter and a single mother of two into poverty in the northeastern city of Newcastle.
Stand-up comedian Dave Johns has played joiner Daniel who is denied disability benefits when unable to work through illness. He befriends young mother Katie, played by Hayley Squires, as they battle with the welfare system.
Loach remains just as passionate about social injustice as when his TV play ‘Cathy Come Home’ shocked viewers 50 years ago with its depiction of a slide into homelessness.
Switching to English, Loach said he found it strange to receive an award in such opulent surroundings given the miserable living conditions of the people who inspired his film.
“When there is despair, the people from the far right take advantage,” Loach said, “We must say that another world is possible and necessary.”