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in Filmmaking
on Nov 19, 2007

In a release sent out moments ago, the Sundance Institute has announced Martin McDonagh‘s comedy In Bruges as the Sundance Film Festival‘s 2008 Opening Night Film. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

For those who may not be familiar with McDonagh, he’s an award-winning playwright and this film marks his debut feature. More on McDonagh and the film is in the release from Sundance below. The entire 2008 festival line-up will be announced Nov. 28 and 29.

McDonagh’s first foray into filmmaking was with the short film, SIX SHOOTER, also starring Gleeson, which won the Academy Award for best live-action short film in 2006. A winner of two Olivier Awards for the plays The Lieutenant if Inishmore and The Pillowman, he is also a four-time Tony Award-nominated playwright of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West and The Pillowman. Born in London, McDonagh divides his time between England and Ireland. A creator of scripts for radio plays early in his writing career, McDonagh is now recognized for his sharp dialogue and vivid storytelling that is both provocative and powerful.”I’m stunned and thrilled that IN BRUGES will be opening a festival as prestigious, and as cool, as Sundance, and I simply can’t wait to attend,” McDonagh said.

IN BRUGES tells the story of hit men Ray and Ken, (Farrell and Gleeson, respectively) who, after a badly botched job in London, are ordered by their boss, Harry (Fiennes), to cool their heels in the bucolic city of Bruges, Belgium. Very much out of their comfort zones, the men find themselves drawn into increasingly dangerous entanglements with locals, tourists, and a film shoot. When their stay in Bruges takes a turn for the worst, Ray and Ken realize Harry may have plans for them other than a simple vacation.

“Martin McDonagh’s hilariously sad first feature is seemingly modest; but, in fact, highly original. No filmmaker I know has made the English language, in all its profane – and here, quite Celtic – glory, such a purely, joyously cinematic medium,” said James Schamus, CEO, Focus Features.

Written and directed by McDonagh, IN BRUGES also stars Cle?mence Poe?sy, Thekla Reuten and Je?re?mie Re?nier. IN BRUGES is a Focus Features presentation in association with Film4 of a Blueprint Pictures production in association with Scion Films. The film is produced by Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin. Executive producers are Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman and Tessa Ross.

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