The film is a co-production between Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Spooky Pictures, a low-budget genre label formed by producers Steven Schneider and Roy Lee.
Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s psychological thriller Watcher is set to have its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January.
Directed by award-winning writer/director Chloe Okuno, the film stars Maika Monroe (It Follows), Karl Glusman (Nocturnal Animals) and Burn Gorman (Enola Holmes).
The film, a co-production between Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Spooky Pictures, will compete in the US dramatic competition at the festival.
Filmed in Romania, Watcher follows a young married couple as they move into a new apartment together in Bucharest, just as a citywide panic is brewing over a possible serial killer on the loose. Julia (Monroe), who finds herself isolated in her new surroundings, becomes increasingly tormented by the belief that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in the adjacent building.
Speaking about the film, Director Chloe Okuno said: “I am incredibly honoured to have my first feature-length film premiere at Sundance. This was an amazing project to work on and I am so pleased Watcher is getting this wonderful platform for its world premiere.”
Steven Schneider added: “Working with Chloe, the incredible cast, crew and production team, we always believed Watcher had tremendous potential. For us to receive recognition from Sundance is an incredible moment for us and we look forward to seeing the audience’s reactions.”
Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, stated: “We are extremely proud of this project and Sundance will provide the perfect platform for this exceptional film to premiere to the world. Watcher is another example of Image Nation’s international co-productions pioneering Abu Dhabi’s film industry and we look forward to seeing this project’s continued success.”
Watcher is based on an original spec by tyro screenwriter Zack Ford and, in addition to Lee and Schneider, is produced by Derek Dauchy, John Finemore, Mason Novick, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone. Stuart Manashil, Rami Yasin, Gabi Antal, James Hoppe and Elizabeth Grave are Executive Producers.
Cinetic and UTA are handling the US/North American rights to the film, while AGC International, the international sales and distribution arm of Stuart Ford’s independent content studio AGC Studios, handles the rights for rest of the world.
The announcement follows the release of Image Nation & AGC International’s co-production Al Kameen, which broke box-office records in the UAE.