Jump, Darling to receive digital premiere at BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival

A drag queen moves in with his grandmother in a film featuring the late Hollywood legend Cloris Leachman in her final starring role.


LGBTQ drama Jump, Darling will receive its international premiere at the digital edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival next month.

The Canadian drama, which features late Hollywood legend Cloris Leachman in her final starring role, will be available to watch online during the UK's biggest LGBTIQ film festival, which this year runs digitally from 17- 28 March.

The debut film from Phil Connell, Jump, Darling follows the story of actor turned drag queen Russell (Thomas Duplessie), who finds himself returning to rural Canada to move in with his declining grandmother (Leachman).

A full synopsis 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. 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."

Jump, Darling also features appearances from Canadian drag performers  Fay Slift, Miss Fiercealicious and Canada's Drag Race star Tynomi Banks.

Academy Award winner Leachman, who holds the record for the most Primetime Emmy acting nominations in history (22) and notably played Ellen DeGeneres' mother in her sitcom The Ellen Show, passed away last month at the age of 94. 

Jump, Darling writer and director Connell said in a statement: "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."

Tickets for the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival's digital screening of Jump Darling will be available to BFI Members from Friday 26 February and to the general public from Tuesday 2 March.

For more information about key dates and tickets for the 2021 BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, click here.