Filmmaker Loach wins Palme D'Or for second time
Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach has won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the second time.
He has won the award for his latest film I, Daniel Blake, a decade after winning the prestigious accolade for The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
The 79-year-old British director won the top award at the international film festival for his story of a former Newcastle joiner who becomes ill and struggles in the welfare system.
Loach has had 12 films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival through his long career, including The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which took the Palme D'Or in 2006.
Loach, whose past classics include 1969's Kes, was up against a host of international stars for the prize. They included Spanish Oscar-winner Pedro Almodovar, Sean Penn and Paul Verhoeven.
Commenting on the fact he has won the prestigious prize for a second time, Loach told the press conference it is "extraordinary" because it is "the same little gang" from 2006.
"It's just nice to be in that team. Our breath has been taken away, I have to say, because we weren't really expecting to come back. So we are quietly stunned," he said.
EU "caused hardship and poverty for millions of people"
Speaking at a press conference in Cannes, Loach said he believed the European Union had caused "hardship and poverty for millions of people".
His comments came after he was asked if he saw I, Daniel Blake as an indictment of the bloc.
"I think the European Union is embodying neo-liberalism. You see it in the way they humiliated the Greek people", he told the conference.
"It has caused hardship and poverty for millions of people and a great struggle for a lot of other people who are not desperate but they are having a hard time.
"So you just tell one little story, one of the consequences of the many millions of people, tell one little story, and you just hope it connects, it connects to people".
Presenting his film earlier this month at the international film festival, Loach voiced hesitant support for the UK to remain in the EU, saying: "The EU, as it stands, is a neo-liberal project. How do we fight it best, within or without?
"On balance, I think we fight it better within and we make alliances with other European left movements. But it's a dangerous, dangerous moment".