- Film And TV
- 10 May 23
Kneecap will be presented to distributors from around the world, as well as festival programmers, as part of the GREAT8 showcase.
In the run-up to the Cannes Film Market – which is held alongside the iconic Cannes Film Festival – the line-up for the prestigious Great8 showcase has been unveiled, with Irish hip-hop trio KNEECAP's highly anticipated feature film set to take part alongside seven other upcoming films.
The first footage from the film – titled Kneecap – will be unveiled at the showcase event tomorrow, May 11.
Paris-based sales and co-production company Charades will be representing the film in international sales. Curzon and Wildcard, meanwhile, are covering distribution in the UK and Ireland.
Helmed by multi-award-winning Scottish writer/director Rich Peppiatt, Kneecap, a "black comedy drama" co-production between Ireland and the UK, will be presented to international distributors and festival programmers as part of the Great8 showcase, which highlights films from "the UK's most exciting first and second-time filmmakers."
Charlotte Wells' Aftersun – for which Paul Mescal was nominated for an Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role – was among the films that were showcased at Great8 last year.
As part of this year's Great8 event, Kneecap and the other films will be screened exclusively to buyers and festival programmers across five different time zones. It will also be available to buyers during the Cannes Film Market, taking place from May 16–24.
Great8 attendees have included the likes of A24, Apple, IFC, Neon, and MUBI, among others.
As part of their Hot Press cover story last year, KNEECAP spoke about the upcoming film, in which the members of the group will be playing themselves.
“That’s happening hopefully this year or next year,” Móglaí Bap told us. “It’s not our own personal stories – our characters have their own fictional stories – but it’s the KNEECAP timeline, which is all true. The bits about being in the news will all be in the movie, and the back-stories will be intertwined in that. It will be something different!”
Michael Fassbender was spotted on the set of the film earlier this year, while Simone Kirby (known for her roles in Jimmy's Hall, His Dark Materials, Hidden Assets and Dating Amber) has been listed as part of the cast. The group also issued call-outs for fans to participate in the film's gig scenes as extras.
Kneecap is produced by Mother Tongues Films' Jack Tarling and Fine Point Films' Trevor Birney, alongside co-producer Patrick O'Neill at Wildcard. It's financed by BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán, TG4 and Northern Ireland Screen, in association with Great Point Media and Curzon.
According to the synopsis of the film on the British Film Institute's website, Kneecap is set in West Belfast in 2019.
"Fate brings together disillusioned music teacher JJ with self-confessed ‘low life scum’ Naoise and Liam Og, changing the sound of Irish music forever," the description continues. "Under the name Kneecap, their band begins moulding the language to fit their tough, anarchic, hedonistic lives. A language encumbered with forty words for stone now has one for stoned. But to get their voices heard the trio must overcome police, paramilitaries and politicians as the future of the Irish language erupts into the public arena – with them at the centre. Yet their worst enemies are often themselves, as family and relationship pressures threaten their dreams, and their illegal exploits draw condemnation from all sides."
Peppiatt has stated that the film will be true to the trio's "hedonistic and anarchic soul..."
The other films set to feature as part of the Great8 showcase include Daniel Kokotajlo's Starve Acre, Amrou Al-Kadhi's Layla, Naqqash Khalid's In Camera, Lucy Cohen's Edge of Summer, Janis Pugh's Chuck Chuck Baby, Julia Jackman's Bonus Track, and George Jaques' Black Dog.
"We're buzzing to show people a side of Belfast that isn't about guns, bombs and death," KNEECAP have stated. "To give an insight into the youth culture that has been born out of that madness - we all needed a break from it and there's revenge in our laughter. This is the North of Ireland and the importance of culture and community in the 21st Century."
Revisit our cover story interview with KNEECAP here.