A still from 'Watcher'
A still from 'Watcher' Image Credit: Image Nation Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi-backed ‘Watcher’ is set to have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the psychological thriller has been directed by the award-winning writer/director Chloe Okuno andstars Maika Monroe (‘It Follows’), Karl Glusman (‘Nocturnal Animals’) and Burn Gorman (‘Enola Holmes’) in the lead.

Filmed on location 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.

“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,” Okuno said in a statement.

The film, which will compete in the US dramatic competition at the festival, is a co-production with Spooky Pictures, the low-budget genre label formed by producers Steven Schneider (‘Insidious’, ‘Split’, ‘Pet Sematary’) and Roy Lee (‘It’, ‘The Ring’, ‘The Strangers’).

“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 audience’s reactions,” Schneider stated.

The announcement follows the release of Image Nation and AGC International’s co-production ‘Al Kameen’, which is breaking box-office records in the UAE.

“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,”

Chief Content Officer of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Ben Ross, said.

‘Watcher’ is based 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.

Okuno most recently wrote and directed a segment of the series ‘V/H/S/94’ and has been hired to write Orion’s remake of the 1977 supernatural thriller ‘Audrey Rose’.