BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival is thrilled to announce a Screen Talk with the award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer Elliot Page, alongside a Special Presentation feature of Close to You, written and directed by BAFTA-winning Dominic Savage and starring, produced and co-written by Page.
BFI Flare will welcome Page onstage at BFI Southbank, on 15 March, to talk about his remarkable career and latest film Close to You, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Close to You receives its European premiere at BFI Flare as a Special Presentation feature on Thursday 14 March with Elliot Page, Hillary Baack and Dominic Savage in attendance.
Based on a story by Dominic Savage and Elliot Page, Close to You sees simmering apprehensions surround a family get-together, as Elliot Page’s Sam returns home for the first time since transitioning, in this highly collaborative feature. Sam moved to Toronto from his small town on Lake Ontario, Canada and finally decides to return home to visit his family for his dad’s birthday as the grown-up children are gathered back into the fold. On his journey, Sam has a chance encounter with a close friend from high school, Katherine (Hillary Baack) with whom he had lost touch, a moment that sparks old feelings. It is on this trip home where Sam can finally confront long-buried feelings, a first love that was never properly resolved, his relationship with his family, and a newfound love and confidence in himself.
Many in the LBGTQIA+ community will be familiar with the particular sense of dread that can come with such emotionally charged occasions. Although warmly welcomed, misgendering and misunderstandings are only a breath away. Close to You is an intensely naturalistic drama that’s become the hallmark of director Dominic Savage’s previous work Love + Hate and The Escape and most recently in the double BAFTA winning I Am Ruth starring Kate Winslet.
Close to You was produced by Krishnendu Majumdar and Richard Yee of Me + You Productions, along with Daniel Bekerman and Chris Yurkovich of Good Question Media in Canada. Savage and Page also produced after developing, conceiving and co-authoring the story together. Kindred Spirit co-financed the film, with Anita Gou and Sam Intili exec producing alongside Rolling Dice’s Nia Vazirani. Pageboy Productions’ Matt Jordan Smith, Andrew Frank and Francine Maisler also executive produced.
Elliot Page made his screen debut in Pit Pony (1997), followed by his feature debut in Marion Bridge (2002). But it was his standout performance in the provocative chamber thriller Hard Candy (2005), playing a teen who entraps a suspected sexual predator, that he scored his first international breakthrough. Page’s standout central performance in Juno (2007) was not only regarded as one of the best of the year, it saw him receive an Independent Spirit and Genie Award, and nominations for BAFTA, Oscar, Golden Globe and People’s Choice Awards.
Further success came in Drew Barrymore’s roller derby comedy Whip It (2009) and as an aspiring dream architect in Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010). Subsequent appearances include Freeheld (2015) Tallulah (2016), and My Days of Mercy (2017). He hosted the documentary series Gaycation (2016 to 2017), earning two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Since 2019, Page has starred as a series regular in the globally successful Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which is gearing up to launch its fourth and final season.
Page directed the documentary There’s Something in the Water (2019), and with his production company Pageboy Productions, he develops and produces entertaining, original, and socially responsible stories.
A New York Times and Sunday Times instant bestseller, Page’s memoir, Pageboy was published to international acclaim in 2023.
BFI FLARE Festivals Event Manager, Darren Jones said: “We’re honoured to have Elliot Page join us this year at BFI Flare for this special Screen Talk and to present the European premiere of Close to You. It is exciting for us to introduce Flare audiences to this incredible film and welcome one of the most dynamic performers in contemporary cinema to BFI Flare to discuss his career and the creative process behind Close to You.”
Elliot Page said: “I am thrilled that UK audiences will be introduced to Close to You at BFI Flare. The experience of collaborating with Dominic, Hillary, and the whole team was magical, and I am honored to be a part of this film.”
Dominic Savage, Close to You director said: “I’m so excited that Close to You is having its European premiere at BFI Flare. It has been a real privilege to create this unique film about love, identity and family with Elliot Page and the incredible cast of actors. I’m looking forward to UK audiences feeling and appreciating the important themes and emotions that the film expresses.”
The full programme line up for BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival will be revealed on Tuesday 13 February at 11am.
Ticket on-sale dates
- BFI Patrons on Mon 19 February
- BFI Members Tue 20 February
- General sale Thu 22 February