North American premiere
Cheval Noir


Directed by Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping

Hosted by Director Sam Freeman.


Official selection

Berlin International Film Festival 2023


Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping

Executive Producer

Harriet Harper-Jones, Kate Mawell, Marnie Podos, Sebastien Raybaud, David Staniland, Eva Yates


Myles Payne, Sam Ritzenberg


Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping


George Mackay, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett


James Rhodes

Sound Designer

Josh Campbell


Adam Janota Bzowski


Selina Macarthur



United Kingdom 2023 99 mins OV English
Genre DramaHorrorThrillerLGBTQIA2S+

“A stylish, commendably uncompromising fusion of genre fireworks and measured, thoughtful character study”
– Guy Lodge, VARIETY

“Subversive, unsettling and sexually charged”

Performing as the magnificent Aphrodite Banks, Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, CANDYMAN) has become one of London’s most celebrated drag artists. After a show, he steps out to get some cigarettes when he is brutally attacked by a gang of homophobic “blokes” in black-and-yellow polos and matching tattoos. Although able to recover physically, Jules withdraws from the drag race entirely, traumatized and despondent. Months later, while at a gay sauna, he recognizes a familiar face in the inviting mist: his attacker. Suddenly compelled to approach him, Jules goes one step further and begins dating his deeply closeted assailant Preston (George MacKay, 1917). He befriends him, integrates into his straight social circle… and hatches a plan for revenge.

Adapting their 2021 BAFTA-nominated short film of the same name, Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping unveil FEMME, a jaw-dropping, London-set thriller built around complex notions of identity, gender, and code-switching along lines of sexual orientation, but also race and ideology. Incredibly layered, and built around two astounding performances, this debut combines both directors’ backgrounds — Freeman’s experience in state-of-the-art television (HBO’s INDUSTRY) and Ping’s talent as a theatre director (for London’s National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and more) — into a rare cinematic powerhouse. FEMME is a perfectly calibrated queer thriller that revisits and subverts the tired trauma narrative, doubling down on the notion of performance — drag — as an innately powerful force and survival mechanism in this most riveting, emotional, almost unbearably tense revenge scenario. FEMME is one of the standouts of the year. – Ariel Esteban Cayer