Sundance Hit ‘Kneecap’ Lands Further Sales for Charades


“Kneecap,” the wildly raucous comedy biopic about the Irish rap group that became one of the unexpected hits of this year’s Sundance, has scored more international sales.

The film, the debut feature of director Rich Peppiatt starring the band members as themselves along with Michael Fassbender, was already picked up in Park City by Sony Pictures Classics, which acquired all rights to the title for North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East.

Now, the Irish-language feature has landed further territories deals for Charades, including Germany (Atlas Films), Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Spain (Filmin), Portugal (Pris Audiovisuals), Greece (Cinobo), Benelux (September Film Distribution), Switzerland (Atlas Film) and Airlines (Aardwold). Variety understands that the sales company is currently in discussion with distributors in the Nordics. Meanwhile, the film will be distributed by Curzon in the U.K. and Wildcard in Ireland, both having backed the film’s production.

“Kneecap” follows the emergence of the rap trio of Naoise Ó Cairealláin aka Móglaí Bap, Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh aka Mo Chara and JJ Ó Dochartaigh aka Dj Provaí in post-Troubles Belfast, setting the stage for the Irish language’s resurgence against the establishment. Self-proclaimed “low life scum” Liam Óg and Naoise, along with school teacher JJ, become a political symbol and the defiant voice of Ireland’s restless youth. The film is described as “a true-life fable about man’s intrinsic urge for identity, the allure of drugs and a passion for life” and a “thrilling ride pulsating with hip-hop beats.”

In his review, Variety‘s Carlos Aguilar wrote: “Bursting with unruly energy that practically escapes the confines of the screen, ‘Kneecap’ is a riotous, drug-laced triumph in the name of freedom that bridges political substance and crowd-pleasing entertainment.”

“Kneecap” was written and directed by Peppiatt from a story by Peppiatt, Ó Cairealláin, Óg Ó Hannaidh and Ó Dochartaigh. It was produced by Trevor Birney and Jack Tarling. 

The film was financed by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding; Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland; Coimisiún na Meán; TG4; and Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund and Screen Fund. It is presented in association with Great Point Media, Naughty Step, DMC Film and is a Fine Point Films, Mother Tongues Films and Curzon production in co-production with Wildcard.

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