Connor Jessup’s ‘Closet Monster’ Bought by Strand Releasing

Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to Stephen Dunn’s “Closet Monster,” starring Connor Jessup (“Falling Skies”) and featuring the voice of Isabella Rossellini.

Producers are Fraser Ash and Kevin Krikst of Rhombus Media, and Edward J. Martin of Best Boy Entertainment. Dunn directed from his own script in his feature directorial debut.

Closet Monster” won the best Canadian feature film award at the Toronto International Film Festival following its world premiere. Strand is planning a summer release.

Jessup stars as a creative and driven teenager who’s tormented by his dysfunctional parents, unsure of his sexuality and haunted by horrific images of a tragic gay bashing he witnessed as a child. He dreams of escaping the town he feels is suffocating him, but a talking hamster (voiced by Rossellini), a wild imagination and the prospect of love help him confront his surreal demons.

Aaron Abrams and Joanne Kelly portray his parents. Aliocha Schneider, Jack Fulton (“Room”), Sofia Banzhaf and Mary Walsh (“The Grand Seduction”) also star.

Popular on Variety

Jessup is part of the cast of the second season of ABC’s “American Crime,” which debuts Jan. 6.

The film is executive produced by Niv Fichman and Ed Martin. “Closet Monster” was produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, Newfoundland & Labrador Film Development Corporation, the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Rogers Telefund.

Elevation Pictures controls the distribution rights in Canada with Fortissimo Films representing the film internationally. The deal was brokered between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Linzee Troubh of Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.

More Film

  • Crip Camp

    'Crip Camp': Film Review

    If “Crip Camp” strikes you as a politically incorrect name for a movie about a summer camp where kids on crutches, in wheelchairs, and otherwise living with disabilities found it possible to feel included rather than ostracized, consider this: The irreverent, stereotype-busting documentary was co-directed by Berkeley-based sound designer Jim LeBrecht, a spina bifida survivor [...]

  • Summertime

    'Summertime': Film Review

    “Use your words.” I remember one of my sheroes saying that to a stammering 4-year-old decades ago. Here was a woman who’d dedicated her life to preschool education, whom I assisted for several summers, trying to get through to a tongue-tied little boy. The more he sputtered, the more upset he got, unable to express [...]

  • Mickey Rourke

    Film News Roundup: Mickey Rourke's 'Adverse' Opens Fantasporto Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, a Mickey Rourke crime drama will premiere in Portugal, a film about the Purdue Pharma scandal is in the works and the documentary “After Parkland” will be shown at 100 locations on the second anniversary of the Parkland shootings. FESTIVAL OPENER The world premiere of Mickey Rourke’s crime drama “Adverse” [...]

  • Director of the Sundance Film Festival

    Outgoing Sundance Festival Director John Cooper Reflects on 30 Years of Highs and Lows

    John Cooper, the outgoing director of the Sundance Film Festival, has been on Robert Redford’s payroll for 30 years. Many in the small world of Hollywood, and the even smaller ecosystem of global film festivals, braced at the announcement last June that Cooper would step down, taking with him decades of institutional memory. Cooper spoke [...]

  • Sam Rockwell Awards Season Fashion

    Stylist Michael Fisher Discusses Sam Rockwell's Red Carpet Looks

    Stylist Michael Fisher wanted Sam Rockwell’s looks to reflect his dynamic acting: “Sam and I gravitate towards color and pattern.” Sept. 8 “It’s a celebration with Sam every time we have a fitting,” says stylist Michael Fisher of longtime client Rockwell. “He’s such a vibrant, amazing actor and personality, and he really enjoys these moments, [...]

  • Conductor and Composer Eímear Noone pictured

    Oscars to Feature Female Orchestra Conductor for the First Time

    A woman will be conducting at the Oscars for the first time on Sunday, Feb. 9, the Academy announced today. Irish-born composer-conductor Eímear Noone will conduct excerpts from the five nominated scores. She is the first female to lead the orchestra in the history of the televised awards, the Academy said. Details beyond that are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content