Utopia has acquired North American rights from Anton Corp to Femme, the acclaimed queer thriller which premiered in Berlin Panorama and stars George MacKay and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping made their feature directing debuts based on their 2021 Bifa-winning and 2022 Bafta-nominated British short of the same name.
The London-set neo-noir feature follows a drag queen (Stewart-Jarrett, Candyman) who suffers a brutal homophobic attack and gets a shot at revenge when he re-encounters one of his assailants (MacKay, 1917) in a gay sauna.
Myles Payne and Sam Ritzenberg of Agile Films produced and Marnie Podos of Under New Mgmt served as executive producer alongside head of BBC Film Eva Yates.
Utopia’s head of content Danielle DiGiacomo brokered the deal with Anton Corp on behalf of the filmmakers.
“We are huge fans of thrillers, but we felt that the predominantly hyper-masculine genre often excludes the queer perspective,” said co-directors Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping. “By putting a gay protagonist at the heart of a thriller, we aimed to invert expectations, and push stories from the margin, and ourselves as queer artists, into the mainstream.”
Yates said: “We were completely gripped by Sam and Ping’s brilliant short film and their incredibly compelling thriller script-a genre so rare in British film, but so desired by audiences. It was an absolute pleasure to build the film with them as directors alongside their exceptional cast, crew and producers at Agile Films and Under New Mgmt, and to continue our valued partnership with Anton.”
“Femme is the kind of fresh and daring take on the thriller genre that Utopia exists to champion and share with audiences; it crackles with electricity while layering in complex and deep emotional resonance,” said DiGiacomo. “Our entire Utopia team feels lucky to be partnering with such a talented group of filmmakers to give audiences an experience they won’t soon forget.”
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