Labour election campaign broadcasts director Ken Loach: 'We're not guns for hire'

The veteran film director told PRWeek the Labour Party's brief for its General Election broadcast films was "simply to tell the truth", and that he wanted to produce films "with no sense of presentation".

Loach and his production company Sixteen Films produced three of the party's five broadcasts as Jeremy Corbyn increased Labour's vote share, in a campaign which surprised many observers.

Led by Loach himself and producer Rebecca O'Brien, the seven-person firm began work in the final week of April, a week on from Theresa May calling the election.

"The brief was simply to tell the truth," Loach said of the party's overarching commission - the first film that resulted, was designed to "show how Jeremy really was", Loach said.

The second (above) involved talking to people in unstable jobs and in "neglected regions", and the third was about public services. This last one (below) came to focus mostly on the NHS. "We had so many nurses, doctors etc, simply saying this is what is happening," Loach said.

"The aim was to do something completely un-spun, we wanted to just tell what was happening, we tried to be explanatory, with no presentation or sense of presentation, just telling the truth," said Loach.

Last year, Corbyn used a parliamentary question to ask Theresa May to watch Loach's film I, Daniel Blake, which depicted poverty in modern Britain. While highly political, Loach told PRWeek that he had known Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell for some time but had never created an election broadcast before.

Asked whether he would do it again, Loach said that he would, if the party maintained its "current course", commenting: "We’re not guns for hire, we’d only do it if we felt it was right."

"We thought this shouldn't be seen as simply friends of Jeremy doing something for Jeremy, that it was something done professionally, for the party," he said, clarifying that Sixteen Films was paid for producing the films. Sixteen has confirmed total budget for the work was £110,000.

Of the Conservatives campaign, he said: "Why did the Tories fail to connect? Because they’re wrong, and because people could see they were wrong. I think a lot of people were swayed by the right-wing press, but i think when people started to see Jeremy and John McDonnell, they started to see the truth"

Asked what he thought the main reason Labour did not win the election, he replied: "Sabotage from the right wing in the party... is probably the overriding factor"

The other two broadcasts were made by Bedlam.


Read next: What really went wrong? 11 reasons why the Conservative General Election campaign tanked

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