The premiere will be held in honour of the late Hollywood actor, Cloris Leachman, starring in her final role

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Phill Connell’s LGBTQI drama Jump, Darling will receive its international premiere at this year’s digital edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival next month, as part of the Bodies strand.

In honour of Academy Award and BAFTA winning actress Cloris Leachman sadly passing away earlier this month aged 94, the film shows the Hollywood legend in her final starring role. The film focuses on the bond between a young LGBTQI man and his grandmother as he pays her a visit and realises that her health is in decline.

Phil Connell, writer and director of Jump, Darling, said: “BFI Flare London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival is an incredibly important space for queer filmmakers to share stories from our community. To be able to celebrate Cloris and her achievements within this festival is a perfect tribute to her legacy. Cloris was an icon and an ally. To work with her, to know her, and now to share her final leading performance with the world is a true honour.”  

The festival will run from 17 – 28 March 2021 and this is just the first of many exciting announcements to come, with the full programme launch set to be revealed 23 February. Keep your virtual viewing calendar clear, folks!

The synopsis for Jump, Darling reads: “Half-prepped before a dressing room mirror in the back of a bustling city gay bar, Russell (Thomas Duplessie), an actor turned drag queen, struggling to find his voice, is given a wrenching ultimatum. Overcome by indecision, he escapes to his grandmother’s house in the country. There he finds sardonic Margaret (Cloris Leachman) in steep decline. In a perfect, if precarious solution for both of them, he moves in to protect her from her greatest fear – the local nursing home.

In no time, Russell is lighting up the local college bar with his alter ego Fishy Falters. Antagonised by his overprotective mother, a sexy-though-mysterious college boy, a cockney city gay bar owner, and the spectre of his failed-artist grandfather, Russell struggles to realise a bold new identity. Meanwhile, Margaret fights to retake control despite her faltering mind.”

Sound like your kind of film? Head to the BFI Flare website to find out how you can get tickets to this special digital premiere and the rest of the packed programme.

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