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17th Jan 2024

Kneecap’s feature length film will be first ever Irish language film to be screened at Sundance

Stephen Porzio

Described as a ‘raucous anti-establishment comedy’, the movie features a major Irish acting star.

New Irish comedy movie Kneecap will become the first ever Irish language film to have its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival tomorrow (Thursday 18).

Described as a “raucous anti-establishment comedy”, it is based on the origin story of Irish-language rap trio Kneecap and stars the band’s Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí in their acting debuts, alongside Oscar-nominee Michael Fassbender, Simone Kirby (Hidden Assets) and Josie Walker (The Wonder).

“Set in West Belfast in 2019, it chronicles how fate brings the trio together and how they then go on to change the sound of Irish music forever,” the plot synopsis reads.

New Irish language movie to become the first ever to premiere at Sundance

Kneecap is the first non-US movie to ever be selected for the Next section of the festival, a strand devoted to championing “pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling”.

Speaking about the world premiere, the movie’s writer-director Rich Peppiatt said:

“When I first set out to make a film in a language I didn’t speak, set in a place I’m not from, little could I have imagined four years later we would be introducing Kneecap the movie to the world at the Mecca of Independent cinema.

“It’s an honour to be breaking new ground for Irish language cinema with a film that surprises and provokes every bit as much as Kneecap’s music.”

Kneecap added: “We are buzzing to be premiering at Sundance. Wherever we go we aim to smash preconceptions about cultural identity, language and highlight the role of the working classes to overthrow oppressive power.

“To now bring this message from the streets of West Belfast to the big screen is f*****g excellent. We’re immensely proud of the film and can’t wait to get it to cinemas around the world.”

Founded in 1978, the Sundance Film Festival is the world’s most prestigious festival dedicated to independent films.

Its 2024 edition will take place from 18–28 January in Park City and Salt Lake City in Utah, with Kneecap screening on the opening night of the event.

The comedy will then be released in Irish cinemas later in 2024.

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