(Sept 6, 2015 – Toronto, ON) East Coast actor Sofia Banzhaf celebrates two Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) selections — Closet Monster and 4 Quarters — with world and Toronto premieres, respectively. Now based in Toronto, Banzhaf grew up in Newfoundland, toured Halifax as a stage actor, shot both TIFF films in the Maritimes and continues to be involved in Canada`s Eastern entertainment scene with upcoming shoots and projects.
A feature film debut for director Stephen Dunn and Banzhaf, both from Newfoundland and close friends since high school, Closet Monster follows teenager and aspiring special-effects makeup artist Oscar (Connor Jessup) as he struggles with his sexuality and fear of his macho father in an imaginative coming-of-age tale. Sophia Banzhaf plays Gemma, Oscar’s best friend and confidante who provides much needed support as he navigates a toxic environment. Distributed by Elevation Pictures, the film celebrates its world premiere at TIFF on Sunday, Sept. 13 at Ryerson theatre at 5:30 p.m.
“Shooting Closet Monster in my hometown with my dear friend and director Stephen Dunn was such an amazing, personal experience,” said Banzhaf. “It definitely reminded me of how gorgeous Newfoundland is. I`m excited to take part in premiering this film at TIFF and sharing the experience with an audience.”
Presented as part of the Short Cuts Program, 4 Quarters follows street kids Willy (Andrew Gillis) and Jane (Sofia Banzhaf) as they quietly struggle to get by in Cape Breton. Filmed in Nova Scotia by director Ashley McKenzie, the 13 minute short stars Banzhaf as Jane, a drug addicted, troubled young woman always in need of twenty dollars. The stark yet tender look at how disenfranchised youth are affected by their environments makes its Toronto premiere on Wednesday, September 16 at Scotiabank theatre at 10 p.m.