The 2008 Sundance Film Festival will open with the world premiere of In Bruges, written and directed by award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh.
This is McDonagh's feature film debut - and the auspices are good, since his debut short film, Six Shooter, won the academy award for best live action short.
Brendan Gleeson - who appeared in Six Shooter - stars alongside Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell in In Bruges, described by the Sundance Institute as "the suspenseful, twisted tale of two London hitmen ordered to take a forced vacation in Bruges, Belgium, and how their subsequent time in exile goes awry."
Sundance Film Festival Director Geoffrey Gilmore, said: "In many ways In Bruges is a quintessential Sundance film - it’s brutal, philosophical, funny, and totally original.
"Martin McDonagh is a masterful storyteller, a tremendously gifted playwright and provocative risk-taker and we are thrilled to showcase his feature-length directorial debut."
McDonagh, who has won two Oliviers for his plays The Lieutenant Of Inishmore and The Pillowman, was born in London and divides his time between England and Ireland.
He said: "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."