#SheReviews Film: Bank of Dave

May 26, 2023

Bank of Dave, another lovely movie based on real events and a true(ish) story. This remarkable development of Burnley (UK) resident, Dave Fishwick was first shared with the world as a documentary in 2012. A decade late this tale remains resonant as ever and continues to capture the imagination and hearts of viewers.  

Screenwriter Piers Ashworth said “I thought it was great but it didn’t immediately strike me as being a movie, it was a fabulous story about something really important that was happening, but it wasn’t until I was making another movie, Fisherman’s Friends, that I realised there was a mechanism to get into the story of the Bank of Dave”.

Beautiful scenery of the UK countryside and villages, great music. A relatable story of local people dealing with local issues fighting the system to turn their dream into a reality. 

The Story

Burnley, once the world’s most productive and profitable mill town, had now become one of the most deprived and neglected towns in the North of England. Dave, played by Rory Kinnear, who sells vans in Burnley has however done well for himself and in the wake of the last financial crisis, started lending money at reduced rates to both his customers and local businesses.  When some of those businesses started making money, they asked Dave to reinvest it for them. 

Dave the hard working entrepreneur comes up with an idea about setting up a tiny local bank to use local money and fund local enterprise. Which is where the Bank of Dave began. 

He hires a struggling London lawyer, Hugh played by Joel Fry, to help turn his dream into reality. Hugh however tries to talk Dave out of the whole idea as he believed the financial authorities would never gran a new bank license to someone like Dave.  Dave is well aware of his chances particularly not being a part of the boy’s club and sets out to win the day in a court of public opinion where bankers have less sway.

The banks seemed determined to impose impossible financial conditions on Dave where he takes a huge risk and mortgages everything he owns. A series of battles take place when the banks play dirty but he is determined to win by organising crowd funding and a tribute concert fronted by legendary band Def Leppard. 

There is a time when the dream all seems impossible, but as it happens in true life, unexpected events can turn things around. 

Hugh makes life changing decisions and sacrifices his own investment as he realises Dave’s dream is real and worthwhile. Plus, during his quest Hugh had found love in the local town.

The inspirational moral to the story is about fighting for your dream, self-belief, working together as a community, caring about each other, working out priorities and what is important in life. I had quite a chuckle at some of the little interactions between the characters that added a lovely touch of humour. 

Cast and Crew


Chris Foggin – Director (Previous feature work includes feel good comedy and box office hit, Fisherman’s Friends)
Piers Ashworth – Writer (The Loneliest Boy in the World & Fishermen’s Friend:One and All) 

Matt Williams – Producer, Lauren Cox, Co-Producer, Katie Lander, David Fishwick– Executive Producer, Peter Touche, Christelle Conan, Jo Bamford, Piers Ashworth, Martin Owen, Michael Reuter, Sebastian Barker – Executive Producers
Mike Stern Sterzynski – Director Of Photography 


Joel Fry, Phoebe Dynevor, Rory Kinnear, Jo Hartley, Naomi Battrick, Paul Kaye, Adrian Lukis 

Def Leppard (more than 110 million albums sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards in the U.S., 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame® inductees Def Leppard – Joe Elliott (vocals), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick Savage (bass), Vivian Campbell (guitar) and Rick Allen (drums) —continue to be one of the most important forces in rock music.

In cinemas 1 June 2023

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