22nd Calgary Underground Film Festival

April 17-27, 2025

12th CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival

November 20-24, 2024


United States, 2023: 100 minutes: Alberta Premiere
Archives 2024
In Cinema Globe Cinema
Thu, Apr 25 9:30 PM Buy


Hippo, a peculiar adolescent, and his Hungarian step-sister Buttercup struggle to come of age in late 1990s America, under the roof of a mother who has been institutionalized at least once.

Loosely based on the Greek tragedy ‘Hippolytus’ — HIPPO examines the coming-of-age of two step-siblings: Hippo, a video-game addicted teenager, and Buttercup, a Hungarian Catholic immigrant with a love of classical music and Jesus. Like the Ancient Greek Aphrodite, Buttercup’s love is unrequited by a young man who prefers to indulge the art of war and chaos.

The film aptly captures the tumult of one's teenage years, within a repressed religious household. It is a cautionary tale about the dangers of something one cannot avoid—your DNA. You can escape a monster, a ghost, even a vampire, but not your family; a fact is both horrific and hilarious, and the film revels in both sides.

Fantasia Film Festival 2023

Mark H. Rapaport is a writer/director/producer and the founder of Kinematics. He has produced four feature films to date, most recently THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST—which won Best First Feature at the 71st Berlinale before being released theatrically by Utopia. Mark’s short film, ANDRONICUS, premiered at Fantasia in 2021. HIPPO is Mark's directorial feature debut.

press for Hippo

"Rapaport plays with topics that would make even the most hardened film fan blush... all with a formalist structure and aesthetic crafted to lend a sense of authority to this grotesque existence."
- ScreenAnarchy
"HIPPO has all the hallmarks of being a cult-classic and is a welcome addition to the world of cinematic transgression."
- The Curb


Narrative / Comedy / Fantasy / Thriller / Suspense / First Feature

100 minutes


Mark H. Rapaport

Executive Producers
David Gordon Green
Tashya & Kevin Campbell
Jody Hill
Danny McBride
Brandon James
Julian Lawitschka
Michael Gelfand
Charmaine Kowalski

Anthony Argento
Mark H. Rapaport

Kimball Farley
Mark H. Rapaport

William Tracy Babcock

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

George Drabing-Hicks
Kenny Kusiak