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Trailer

Closet Monster

Directed by Stephen Dunn
Created by
Canada | 90 minutes | World Premiere
Artist: | World Premiere
An East Coast teenager and aspiring special-effects makeup artist (Connor Jessup, Blackbird) struggles with both his sexuality and his fear of his macho father, in this imaginative twist on the coming-of-age tale from first-time feature director Stephen Dunn.

Best Canadian Feature, Toronto International Film Festival

Best Atlantic Director and Screenwriter, Atlantic Film Festival

Intro and Q&A with director Stephen Dunn, January 9 at 5pm; intro and Q&A with lead actor Connor Jessup and producer Fraser Ash, January 16 at 1pm

Mixing affecting drama with whimsical fantasy and elements of Cronenbergian body horror, this inventive feature debut from Newfoundland's Stephen Dunn chronicles a teen's struggle to find his own way of life. High-school student and aspiring special-effects makeup artist Oscar Madly (Connor Jessup, 2012 TIFF Rising Star) needs out: out of the town that is stifling his budding creativity, and out of the closet. While he finds support from his best friend Gemma (Sofia Banzhaf) and his pet hamster, Buffy (who talks to him via the voice of the great Isabella Rossellini), Oscar is haunted by horrifying visions of the consequences of revealing his homosexuality — a fear compounded by his erratic father (Aaron Abrams). When he meets the handsome and carefree rebel Wilder (Aliocha Schneider, 2015 TIFF Rising Star), Oscar is immediately attracted and utterly terrified. With this striking, sometimes shocking, and often funny debut, Dunn (TIFF's inaugural Len Blum Artist in Residence and an alumnus of Talent Lab) establishes himself as one of Canada's brightest new talents.

Magali Simard

Mélangeant drame affectif, fantastique surréaliste avec des éléments horrifiques dans la veine du cinéma de Cronenberg, ce premier long-métrage du réalisateur de Terre-Neuve Stephen Dunn, regorge d'inventivité. Il fait la chronique de la vie d'un adolescent luttant pour trouver sa place et vivre sa vie comme il l'entend. Jeune de niveau secondaire voulant devenir artiste-maquilleur spécialiste en effets spéciaux, Oscar Madly (Connor Jessup) a besoin de s'évader: sortir de la ville qui aspire toute créativité naissante en lui, et sortir du placard. Épaulé et soutenu par sa meilleure amie Gemma (Sofia Banzhaf) et son hamster, Buffy (qui lui parle avec la voix d'Isabella Rossellini), Oscar est hanté par d'horribles visions liées aux conséquences de son homosexualité révélé — une peur aggravée par un père imprévisible (Aaron Abrams). Lorsqu'il rencontre le bel et l'insouciant rebelle Wilder (Aliocha Schneider), Oscar est immédiatement attiré et totalement terrifié. Avec ce premier long-métrage parfois choquant, souvent drôle, Dunn frappe fort, devenant ainsi l'un des talents les plus brillants du pays.