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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.

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.

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