The eponymous Irish language film sees the Belfast hip hop group’s members play exaggerated versions of themselves.
A fictitious history of the Belfast hip hop group Kneecap will play to prospective buyers at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The film, which recently wrapped in Belfast, features dialogue in both English and Irish and sees the Belfast group playing fictionalised versions of themselves. It will also feature an appearance by a renowned Irish film star.
The Marché du Film at Cannes – one of the largest film markets in the world
Kneecap was selected as part of the GREAT8 showcase. This showcase, run by the BFI and the British Council in partnership with BBC Film and Film4, highlights the work of independent first- and second-time filmmakers.
The purpose is to attract prospective buyers for these independent productions. A recent example of the success of the GREAT8 programme is Charlotte Wells’s Paul Mescal-starring Aftersun.
The GREAT8 showcased these films on 11 May, and they will be available to film financers during the Marché du Film (Film Market) at the Cannes Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world of cinema.
The festival and concurrent market start today (16 May) and run until 24 May.
The Kneecap movie – about the film
The group’s Móglaí Bap says the film is a fictitious portrayal of the hip hop trio. “It’s not our own personal stories – our characters have their own fictional stories,” he told Hot Press. “But it’s the Kneecap timeline, which is all true”.
Móglaí Bap joins fellow Kneecap members Mo Chara and DJ Provaí in playing exaggerated versions of themselves in a post-Troubles Belfast.
The film also stars renowned Irish actor Michael Fassbender in an as-yet-unknown role. Fassbender is best known for his Oscar-nominated performances in 12 Years a Slave and Steve Jobs.
The film is written and directed by Rich Peppiatt. It will be his first feature film after having previously helmed 2014 satirical documentary One Rogue Reporter, as well as short films such as 2018’s Grounded.
Peppiatt began his professional relationship with Kneecap when he directed the music video for their 2021 single ‘Guilty Conscience’.
Showing that Belfast isn’t all “guns, bombs, and death” – a word on the film
Curzon Film is in charge of the film’s distribution in Ireland and the UK. They whetted fans’ appetites, stating, “Kneecap are infamous for their anti-establishment outlook, near-the-knuckle humour, and puckish charm.
“They have managed to bottle all of that and lobbed it up onto the big screen in UK cinemas”.
Furthermore, Kneecap also released a statement to outline their excitement for the project.
“We’re buzzing to show people a side of Belfast that isn’t about guns, bombs, and death”, they said. “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”.
Kneecap is currently in post-production, but keep your eyes peeled for a release date. It’s one of the most highly-anticipated Irish films coming out in 2024.