Jules’ 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. Unrecognisable out of his wig and make-up, Jules infiltrates Preston’s life and, in doing so, discovers power in a different kind of drag...

Director's Statement

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 realised 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. Our conversations around these topics brought up a lot for us as gay men about things that terrify us and things that make us rage.

As we dug deeper, we came to the conclusion that the film we wanted to make was, at its core, about drag. And not only the more recognisable feminine drag that Jules dons at the beginning of the story. Almost every character in the film wears a form of drag: a performance of gender that earns them power and status in the world they inhabit. Femme delves into what happens when those masks are challenged.

We hope that in adopting and subverting familiar devices from many films that we love, we have created a space for Femme that is all its own. In a way the film itself is wearing a form of drag. It’s a dark story, and we decided early on that we weren’t interested in making a moralistic film, where the good guys take the high road and the bad guys always get their comeuppance.

Our interest lies in exploring the reality of the characters and how the world they live in propels them into doing the things that they do. Making Femme was both exhilarating and cathartic for us, and we hope to bring you along on that same journey.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ng Choon Ping, Sam H. Freeman

Written by: Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping

Main Producer: Myles Payne, Sam Ritzenberg

Cinematography: James Rhodes

Editing: Selina Macarthur

Production Design: Christopher Melgram

Costume Design: Buki Ebiesuwa

Make-Up & Hair: Marie Deehan

Original Score: Adam Janota Bzowski

Sound: John Campbell

Visual Effects: David Horsburgh

Casting: Julie Harkin, Nathan Toth

Cast: George McKay (Preston), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Jules)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2023