The world premiere of "Small Things Like These," starring Irish actor Cillian Murphy, will open the 74th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) on February 15.

An Irish-Belgian production, "Small Things Like These" is directed by Tim Mielants with a screenplay by Enda Walsh. Murphy worked with Mielants on "Peaky Blinders" and has frequently collaborated with Walsh.

Murphy stars alongside Eileen Walsh, Michelle Fairley, and Emily Watson in "Small Things Like These," which was filmed in Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford last year.

The movie will screen in Berlinale's Competition section.

We are excited to finally announce the opening film of the 2024 Berlinale: The festival will open with the world premiere of “Small Things Like These” by Tim Mielants, starring Cillian Murphy, Eileen Walsh, Michelle Fairley, and Emily Watson!
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— Berlinale (@berlinale) January 18, 2024

An adaptation of Wexford author Claire Keegan's Booker Prize-nominated novel of the same name, "Small Things Like These" takes place over Christmas in 1985, when devoted father and coal merchant Bill Furlong (Murphy) discovers startling secrets kept by the convent in his town, along with some shocking truths of his own. 

Keegan's book "Foster" previously inspired the Oscar-nominated Irish-language film "An Cailín Ciúin" ("The Quiet Girl") which won an award at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival. 

"Small Things Like These" was produced by Murphy and Alan Moloney through their company Big Things Films along with Catherine Magee. Matt Damon and Drew Vinton also produce alongside executive producers Ben Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe for Artists Equity with FilmNation Entertainment handling international sales.

The film was financed by Artists Equity and Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann and was co-produced in Belgium by Wilder Content.

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland said: "Having an Irish independent film chosen to open the Berlinale is an incredible achievement, and a testament to the cultural strength of the Irish screen industry."

Murphy and Moloney said in a statement to RTÉ that they are "delighted" that their film will be the official Opening Film of the 2024 Berlinale.

"It was an honour to have adapted Claire Keegan's powerhouse of a novel with screenwriter Enda Walsh and director Tim Mielants, brought to life by the talent and passion of our incredible cast and crew in New Ross, Wicklow, and Dublin," Murphy and Moloney said.

"Our huge thanks to Artists Equity and Screen Ireland for their support.

"Having an Irish film open the Berlinale is a tribute to the power of storytelling at home, and we can't wait for audiences to see the film."

Carlo Chatrian, Berlinale’s Artistic Director, further said: “With 'Small Things Like These,' Tim Mielants tells the story of a man of few words, with wide open eyes, as clear as the skies of Ireland.

"In 'The Quiet Girl' we already had sense of Claire Keegan’s skill in portraying small, apparently simple characters and making them unforgettable; here her delicate, rich and yet down-to-earth writing finds a great interpreter in Cillian Murphy. We are confident that this story that allies the kindness to be directed to the more fragile, and the willpower to stand up against injustice, will resonate with everyone.

"We are looking forward to launching this ‘quiet’ yet quite exceptional film at the start of Zeitgeist Irland 24, a year-long celebration of Irish culture in Germany."