A red carpet movie premiere to launch a film set in County Durham by acclaimed director Ken Loach is taking place next week.

The Old Oak, which was filmed in east Durham communities and tells the story of the arrival of Syrian refugees in a former mining village, will be the 87-year-old's last feature film.

The world premiere was at Cannes Film Festival and the UK launch will be at the Gala Theatre in Durham next Thursday.

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The Northern Echo: Ken Loach at the Durham Miners' Gala in July Ken Loach at the Durham Miners' Gala in July (Image: Gavin Havery)The Bafta-winning director, an outspoken socialist, has a close affinity with Durham Coalfield communities and attends the Big Meeting in the city every year.

Dave Turner, a retired firefighter from Blaydon, who was in Sorry We Missed You, stars as a pub landlord, the new film introduces newcomer Ebla Mari as a woman who moves to a pit village from her war torn country.

Describing the film, a spokesperson for the distribution company, StudioCanal, said: “The Old Oak is a special place.  

“Not only is it the last pub standing, but it’s 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.  

The Northern Echo: The Old Oak is the last pub in a once thriving former colliery communityThe Old Oak is the last pub in a once thriving former colliery community (Image: Studio Canal)“The landlord hangs on to The Old Oak by his fingertips, and his predicament is endangered even more when the pub becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village without any notice.  

“In an unlikely friendship he meets a curious young Syrian with her camera.  

“Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other?  So unfolds a deeply moving drama about their fragilities and hopes.”  

The Northern Echo: Ebla Mari and Dave Turner in Durham Cathedral Ebla Mari and Dave Turner in Durham Cathedral (Image: THE OLD OAK)Read next: 

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The Northern Echo: A scene from the new film A scene from the new film (Image: StudioCanal)The film sees Loach return to the North East following his previous two films I, Daniel Blake, winner of the Palme d’Or and BAFTA Outstanding British Film awards, and Sorry We Missed You which were both also shot in the region.

Filming took place across County Durham last year at various locations including Murton, Easington Colliery and Horden, with assistance from North East Screen's award-winning Film Office.

The film was written by BAFTA winner Paul Laverty and produced by BAFTA winner Rebecca O’Brien for Sixteen Films, all of whom continue their long-time collaboration.

The Durham screening is at 6pm will be followed by another showing at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle that day at 7.15pm with guests seated 15 minutes earlier at both.

Loach and the team will travel between the two locations so that they can introduce the film at each venue.

The Northern Echo: Film poster for new Ken Loach film Film poster for new Ken Loach film (Image: Contributor)The Old Oak will also be screened at the Everyman Cinema in Newcastle on September 23 as a pre-opening event for the North East International Film Festival which runs from September 25 to October 1.

The Old Oak will be released by StudioCanal at cinemas in the UK and Ireland on September 29.

Watch the trailer for The Old Oak here