Ken Loach has created his own YouTube channel, hosting several of his older features. Sixteen Films, Loach’s production company, eventually wants to convert the site into an online video-on-demand service. At present, Loach’s YouTube channel hosts three of his early features: Poor Cow and Kes – his first and second films – plus classic BBC drama Cathy Come Home, which did so much to illuminate the plight of the homeless for 60s TV viewers. The site originally hosted more titles, but rights holders asked Sixteen to take them down. Sixteen only posted the movies as a way of contacting obscure rights holders in the first place. That way, it hopes to migrate to a full online movie service going forward. The numbers so far have been small: 89,201 for Kes; 28,111 for Cathy Come Home; and just 7,452 for Poor Cow. What’s interesting is this could indicate a way going forward for other directors and producers to start exploiting their own back catalogues. “Making these films available can only create more interest in our current films such as Cannes entry Route Irish,” Loach’s producer Rebecca O’Brien tells me. “We’ve always found it difficult to identify Ken’s audience, especially in the UK. I think we may have just found it online.”
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