World Premiere
Cheval Noir


Directed by Mark H. Rapaport

Hosted by Director Mark Rapaport, Producers Julian Lawitschka and Charmaine Kowalski Rapaport, Associate Producers Josh Marks and Jordan Rapaport, Cinematographer William Tracy Babcock, Cast Kimball Farley, Lilla Kizlinger, Eliza Roberts and Jesse Pimental



Mark H. Rapaport

Executive Producer

Tashya Campbell, David Gordon Green, Jody Hill, Brandon James, Julian Lawitschka, Danny McBride, Gelfand Michael, Charmaine Rapaport


Anthony Argento, Mark H. Rapaport


Kimball Farley, Mark H. Rapaport


Kimball Farley, Lilla Kizlinger, Eliza Roberts, Eric Roberts, Jesse Pimentel, Vann Barrett


William Tracy Babcock


George Drabing-Hicks, Kenny Kusiak


Nik Voytas



USA 2023 100 mins OV English/Hungarian
Genre DramaThrillerComedyFantasy

“You cannot escape your DNA. This fact is both horrific and hilarious, and I revel in both sides.” – Writer/Director Mark H. Rapaport

Hippo (Kimball Farley) is a socially awkward narcissist who adores video games, creation, and confrontation. His adopted sister Buttercup (Berlinale Silver Bear winner Lilla Kizlinger) is an introspective Hungarian immigrant who’s never quite found comfort in her American family. Her Eastern Catholic upbringing and the repressions it fostered has led to distinctive perspectives on sex and pregnancy. While she secretly longs to bare her stepbrother’s child, she’s taken to exploring possible impregnation options with strangers on Craigslist (“a paltry list of potential sperm”, the film’s narration — delivered by Eric Roberts — observes). Hippo is terrified of intimacy and reacts in horror at the suggestion of going out to meet people. Both are homeschooled students who’ve had little social interactions outside of with one another and their mother Ethel (Eliza Roberts) with whom they live, a kind woman who’s been institutionalized and has seen at least one UFO.

A wildly individualistic comedy of discomfort that you’ll be quoting for decades, HIPPO is the deeply personal feature directorial debut of writer/director Mark H. Rapaport, producer of (and performer in) THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST and PLEDGE, following his phenomenal short ANDRONICUS. Achingly funny, sincerely strange, and marinated in polymorphous perversity, this darkly uneasy outsider comedy is steeped in an almost otherworldly melancholia. Yet, it’s unbelievably endearing despite its transgressive turns, told with heart and led by a pair of compellingly eccentric performances. Think ’90s Todd Solondz by way of early Michael Almereyda with an aesthetic that can best be described as “nightmare Wes Anderson.” Rapaport was raised in a devoutly religious community where he came of age in unconventional ways, learning about sex largely through a mix of guesswork and misunderstandings with complicated feelings of shame. An inspired take on Hippolytus, HIPPO was made in part as a hug to his childhood self and it reveals the voice of a complete original. Executive Produced by Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jody Hill. See it. – Mitch Davis