Northern Ireland

Kneecap secure audience award at Sundance Film Festival

The film is the first Irish feature fiction to win since Once

 Kneecap: Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí
Kneecap: Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí

BELFAST Irish-language rappers Kneecap have won an audience award for their fictionalised autobiography at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Considered the world’s most prestigious event for celebrating independent films, the Rich Peppiatt feature is now the first Irish fiction feature to win since Once took home the world cinema prize in 2007.

Starring members Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí – as well as Hollywood star Michael Fassbender as a veteran republican– the film is fictionalised take on their life in post-Troubles Belfast.

Known for their provocative style, the group celebrated their win by posting online: “Special thanks to our PR team at the DUP.”

Among several rave reviews, Variety called the film: “A riotous, drug-laced triumph in the name of freedom that bridges political substance and crowd-pleasing entertainment.”

With most of the film’s dialogue in the Irish language, the reception at Sundance has seen the film sold to Sony Picture Classics who are to distribute it in territories including North America, Latin America, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Wildcard Distribution, who also co-produced the film, will also release it in Ireland later this year.

In a statement, the members of Kneecap added: “”We are delighted to have such an award bestowed upon the first Irish language film at Sundance.

“Hopefully it will give people in Ireland the confidence to pursue the arts through their native tongue.”