“Femme,” written and directed by Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, has debuted a teaser and poster (below) ahead of its premiere Sunday in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival. The film stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay. Anton is handling international sales.
The film centers on Jules, whose life and career as a drag queen is destroyed by a homophobic attack. But when he re-encounters his attacker, the deeply-closeted Preston, in a gay sauna, he is presented with a chance to exact revenge. Unrecognizable out of his wig and make-up, Jules infiltrates Preston’s life, and in doing so, discovers power in a different kind of drag.
In a statement, the directors said: “The seed of ‘Femme’ came from our desire to flip the classic hyper-masculinity of the neo-noir thriller on its head. By putting a queer protagonist at the heart of our revenge story, we aimed to put our own stamp on a genre that we love but from which we have often felt excluded.
“However, once we started work on the film, the idea began to evolve into something that felt much bigger in scope. We realized that a queer reframing of such a hetero-centric genre was the perfect way to explore – and explode – conventional ideas of sexuality, masculinity, patriarchy, and identity.”
The film is produced by Agile Films, with the support of Anton and BBC Film. The producers are Myles Payne and Sam Ritzenberg. The co-producers are Hayley Williams and Dimitris Birbilis.
The directors co-wrote and co-directed the BIFA-winning, BAFTA nominated short “Femme,” starring Paapa Essiedu and Harris Dickinson, which premiered in competition at SXSW. “Femme” is their debut feature.
Sam H. Freeman has worked extensively in television, most recently writing the pilot for his own original series with Bad Wolf and HBO Max. Other television work includes “Industry” (HBO/Bad Wolf), “This Is Going to Hurt” (BBC/Sister Pictures) and “The Power” (Amazon/Sister Pictures). His first original series “Unmasked” sold to Disney.
Ng Choon Ping recently directed a new adaptation of Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” at the Hong Kong Arts Festival as well as “Macbeth” at the Bristol Old Vic. He has directed over the last decade at London’s National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Young Vic.