- Film And TV
- 06 Dec 23
The highly anticipated film stars the former Hot Press cover stars alongside Michael Fassbender, Simone Kirby and Josie Walker.
In colossal news for Irish music, Irish film, and the Irish language, the world premiere of KNEECAP – inspired by the origin story of the groundbreaking hip-hop trio of the same name – has been confirmed for Sundance Film Festival, taking place in Utah next month.
Considered the most prestigious independent film festival in the world, Sundance 2024 will run from January 18-28, with KNEECAP screening on the opening night. It's reportedly the first ever Irish language film to have been selected by Sundance.
KNEECAP is also the first non-US film to ever be selected for the NEXT section of the festival. The festival describes selections for this section as “pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to story-telling."
The film, from writer/director Rich Peppiatt, stars KNEECAP's Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí, alongside Academy Award-nominated Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, 12 Years a Slave), Simone Kirby (Hidden Assets, Jimmy’s Hall) and Josie Walker (Belfast, The Wonder). It's set in West Belfast in 2019, and explores how fate brought the trio together – and how they went on to "change the sound of Irish music forever."
“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," Rich Peppiatt comments. "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 have also said that they're "buzzing" about the premiere.
"Wherever we go we aim to smash preconceptions about cultural identity, language and highlight the role of the working classes to overthrow oppressive power," the group state. "To now bring this message from the streets of West Belfast to the big screen is fucking excellent. We're immensely proud of the film and can't wait to get it to cinemas around the world.”
“This is the first Irish language film to have been selected by Sundance, which is simply incredible not only for Rich Peppiatt and KNEECAP but for Fine Point and the film industry in Ireland, north and south," Trevor Birney reflects. "I was excited about this film from the moment Rich came to me with the idea and we began to work together with the band on making it happen. Thanks to the incredible crew and, of course, the funders who supported Rich’s vision. Go raibh maith agaibh.”
Titles that have screened at Sundance in the past include The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, and In Bruges – as well as Irish productions such as John Crowley's Brooklyn, Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster, John Carney's Sing Street and Lee Cronin’s The Hole in the Ground.
2023 has been another major year for the Irish group. Last month, they released 'Better Way To Live' featuring Fontaines D.C.'s Grian Chatten, as their first single since signing to Heavenly Recordings. Their debut album is expected to be released through the lauded London-based independent record label in 2024. Earlier this year, they also contributed to award-winning composer Lorne Balfe's companion album to the blockbuster Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
KNEECAP will be released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard and Curzon in 2024.
Revisit KNEECAP's Hot Press Cover Story Interview here – and watch a sneak peak of the film below:
— KNEECAP (@KNEECAPCEOL) December 6, 2023