The BFI has announced the International premiere of Jump, Darling will take place at this year’s 35th BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival .

Ahead of its full programme launch taking place on the 23rd February, Jump, Darling will premiere in the Bodies strand at next month’s festival, which runs digitally from the 17th– 28th March 2021. 

It was also confirmed that the premiere will take place in honour of  Academy Award and BAFTA winning actress Cloris Leachman, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 94. The film was her last starring role.

Written and directed by debut filmmaker Phil Connell, the film is a family drama about a young LGBTQ+ man who visits his declining grandmother.

The cast for the film also includes Thomas Duplessie, Linda Kash and Jayne Eastwood alongside cameos from well-known drag queens Tynomi Banks, Fay Slift and Miss Fiercealicious.

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. Antagonized 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 realize a bold new identity. Meanwhile, Margaret fights to retake control despite her faltering mind.

Talking about the news, Phil Connell, Writer-director 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.”

This year’s BFI Flare will deliver virtual festival premieres of the best new LGBTIQ+ cinema from around the world via BFI Player to UK-wide audiences. Firther details of the festival programme are set to be announced at a digital Programme Launch event, which will also be available for the first time ever for the public to attend, on the evening of Tuesday 23rd February 2021.

To find out more about the festival visit: https://www.bfi.org.uk/flare