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Ken Loach to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Berlin Film Festival

Social realist giant honored for contributions to cinema

Ken Loach, the realist director who has dramatized the plight of people living on the fringes of society in such films as “My Name is Joe” and “Sweet Sixteen,” will be honored with the Honorary Golden Bear award for lifetime achievement at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

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In a career that has spanned more than four decades, Loach’s films have examined homelessness, incarceration, drug abuse in an unflinching documentary-like style. They form an indelible portrait of working class England, but Loach’s gaze has moved beyond his native country with historical drama’s such as  “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” which examined the Irish Civil War.

“Ken Loach is one of Europe’s great directors. Over his almost 50-year career, he has shown an extraordinary degree of continuity, while remaining innovative at all times. His profound interest in people and their individual fates, as well as his critical commitment to society have found expression in a variety of cinematic approaches,” Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement. “We are honouring Ken Loach as a director and greatly admire him for how he reflects on social injustices with humour in his films.”

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Loach’s other works of note include the coming of age film “Kes,” the immigration drama “Bread and Roses” and the thriller “Route Irish,” which looked at the aftershocks of the Iraq War.

The festival runs from Feb. 6 to Feb. 16.