‘Kneecap,’ ‘Dìdi’ to Bookend Sundance London (EXCLUSIVE)

The U.K. premieres of Rich Peppiatt’s “Kneecap” and Sean Wang’s “Dìdi” will open and close the 11th edition of Sundance Film Festival: London. Both films won awards at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January.

Rambunctious Irish-language film “Kneecap” is the real-life story of how an anarchic Belfast rap trio became the unlikely figureheads of a civil rights movement to save and reinvigorate their mother tongue. “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,” reads Variety‘s review of the film. “Kneecap” won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award: NEXT in January.

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“Kneecap” was produced by Mother Tongues Films and Fine Point Films. The U.K.-Ireland co-production is financed by BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán, TG4 and Northern Ireland Screen, in association with Great Point Media and Charades. The film was co-produced by Curzon and Wildcard and will be released in the U.K. and Ireland in August.

Set in 2008 in California’s Bay Area, “Dìdi” is an ode to first-generation teenagers navigating the joy and chaos of adolescence as seen through the lens of a 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy, played by Izaac Wang (Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon”). At its premiere in competition at Sundance, it won both the U.S. dramatic audience award and the U.S. dramatic special jury award for best ensemble cast. The Variety review described the film as “a fresh and funny summer-before-freshman-year flashback that provides an Asian American angle on that Sundanciest of indie-film genres: the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age movie.” Wang was recently Oscar-nominated for his documentary short “Nai Nai & Wai Pó.”

“Dìdi” is an Antigravity Academy, Spark Features presentation of an Unapologetic Projects, Maiden Voyage production.

Sundance Film Festival: London takes place June 6-9 at Picturehouse Central. As is customary, the festival will feature a program of fiction and documentary films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January, curated for London by the Sundance Film Festival programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse. A program of U.K. shorts has also been curated, as well as a strand of repertory titles to celebrate the 40th year of Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. edition, plus a series of public talks. The full lineup will be announced later this month.

Eugene Hernandez, director of Sundance Film Festival and public programming, said: “Having ‘Kneecap’ and ‘Dìdi’ bookend the upcoming Sundance Film Festival: London 2024 sets the stage for a rousing edition celebrating new cinema. These two debut films, by breakthrough directors Rich Peppiatt and Sean Wang, offer irresistible storytelling and bold filmmaking that resonated deeply with our audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s been an honor to welcome these filmmakers into the Sundance community. We look forward to bringing these exciting discoveries to London audiences and to sharing their energy and passion for independent cinema.”

Clare Binns, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas, added: “This 11th edition brings a selection of the finest independent films to the heart of London for their U.K. premieres, coming directly from the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Audiences will be able to hear from the filmmakers, take part in Q&As, watch inspiring talks and enjoy the best new voices in filmmaking at the jewel in London’s cinema crown.”

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