Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

Closet Monster

Year: 2015
Country: CANADA
Run Time: 90 minutes

Closet Monster

Connor Jessup of TV’s Falling Skies gives a stirring performance as Oscar Madly in this daring coming-of-age film. As a young boy, Oscar witnesses a horrible homophobic crime that stays with him even to this day. Oscar is also still reeling from the scars of his mother deserting him and his father. Now a teenager planning to leave his hometown for NYC to pursue his dreams as a makeup artist, Oscar must juggle his self-destructive homophobic father, his friendship with childhood friend Gemma, and his own burgeoning sexuality. Luckily he has his trusty hamster, Buffy (voiced by Isabella Rossellini), as his spirit animal. At times fantastical while also being incredibly bold, CLOSET MONSTER is one of those rare films that truly brings the audience into a character’s life, and there is no letting up. Directed with style and performed with grace, CLOSET MONSTER is a beautiful example of what can happen when what’s hidden needs to escape. –T.W.

CIFF40 Screenings

Friday, April 08, 2016 at 7:25 PM

Saturday, April 09, 2016 at 4:50 PM

10% Cinema

New Direction Competition

Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn was born in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He is one of Canada's brightest young filmmakers, having won prestigious awards at both the Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes. He's a graduate of Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre and Ryerson University's Film Program. His short film, "Life Doesn't Frighten Me," won the Best Student Short Film at the 37th CIFF.


Kevin Krikst, Fraser Ash, Edward J. Martin

Stephen Dunn

Bobby Shore

Bryan Atkinson

Principal Cast
Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, Joanne Kelly, Aliocha Schneider, Sofia Banzhaf, Jack Fulton, Mary Walsh, Isabella Rossellini

Film Contact

This film is presented with the generous support of JAMES ANDERSON and DAVID WITTKOWSKY.

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