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Kneecap Alamy Stock Photo

Film about Irish rap trio featuring Michael Fassbender to premiere at Sundance Film Festival

Rap group Kneecap gained acclaim for their blend of Irish and English rap about the realities of growing up in post-Troubles Belfast.

A FILM ABOUT Irish language rap group Kneecap will have its world premiere at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in the US state of Utah where it will screen on the opening night next month. 

The rap group gained acclaim for their blend of Irish and English rap about the realities of growing up in post-Troubles Belfast. 

The group have also come into some criticism over the last few years. Last year, they were criticised by some for unveiling a mural in west Belfast’s Fall Road depicting a burning PSNI Land Rover.

Based on the origin story of the rap trio, the Knee film stars the band’s Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí in their acting debut alongside Academy Award nominated Michael Fassbender, Simone Kirby and Josie Walker.

Set in west Belfast in 2019, the film chronicles how the three men are brought together and how they then go 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,” writer and director Rich Peppiatt said.

“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 they are they “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,” the group said. 

Kneecap is 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”. It is also the first Irish language film to have been selected by Sundance. 

The Kneecap film was produced by Jack Tarling and Trevor Birney for Fine Point Films and Mother Tongues Films, with Patrick O’Neill at Wildcard acting as co-producer.

Funding for the film was provided by Northern Ireland Screen, the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, Screen Ireland, the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Coimisiún na Meán and TG4, with backing from Great Point Media.

The Sundance Film Festival will take place from 18 to 28 January in Park City and Salt Lake City in Utah. 

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