The 2019 Sundance Film Festival has revealed its feature film line-up and five Irish productions or co-productions are set to make their world premieres there.
The festival, which takes place in Park City, Utah, will run from January 23rd to February 2nd. It is the largest independent film festival in the United States and over the years has launched the careers of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Lisa Cholodenko and Ryan Coogler.
112 films from 33 countries make up the festival's feature film programme, whittled down from a record 4018 submissions.
Amongst the Irish selections is director Lee Cronin's feature debut 'The Hole in the Ground', a horror film starring Seána Kerslake whose previous credits include the RTÉ series 'Can't Cope, Won't Cope' and the 2016 film 'A Date for Mad Mary'.
Cronin described the news of his film's selection as a 'privilege', stating that 'A hell of a lot of extremely talented people worked tirelessly to make the movie a reality'.
'The Hole in the Ground' was funded by Screen Ireland, the BAI and Head Gear Films and will be released by Wildcard Distribution in Irish cinemas early next year.
The four other Irish films selected for the festival include two international co-productions; Sacha Polak's 'Dirty God' and Sophie Hyde's 'Animals' as well as two documentaries, Kim Longinotto's 'Shooting the Mafia' and Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell's 'Gaza'.
Screen Ireland Chief Executive James Hickey commented on the news saying 'We are very proud to have five titles set to screen at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and we would like to extend our congratulations to the filmmakers. The selection process is one of the most competitive in the world, so to have such a strong line-up for the 2019 edition of the festival is a fantastic achievement for our industry'.
Other notable Irish films to have premiered at Sundance in recent years include 'Sing Street' (2016), 'Brooklyn' (2015) and Calvary (2014).
The news comes at the end of what many are regarding as a banner year for the Irish film industry which saw the home-grown famine revenge drama 'Black '47' grossing over €1 million at the Irish box office and the announcement of an additional €200 million investment in screen production over the next ten years as part of the Project Ireland 2040 development plan.