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Sundance Horror Film ‘Watcher’ Acquired By IFC Midnight, Shudder

Chloe Okuno directs film about a woman being watched by a mysterious figure in Romania

IFC Midnight and Shudder have acquired the distribution rights to Chloe Okuno’s horror film “Watcher,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. IFC will release the film in theaters and on-demand later this year, with Shudder taking the first streaming window.

In “Watcher,” “It Follows” star Maika Monroe plays Julia, an actor who gives up her career to join her husband for in Romania for his new job. While he’s off at work, she often spends time alone. But as newscasts air reports of a serial killer on the loose, she begins to see a mysterious figure watching her from another building, and she’s convinced that the figure is following her.

“Chloe Okuno’s exceptional vision uses horror and thriller elements in a masterful way that will resonate with any person looking for a singular cinematic experience, even further emboldened by a star-turning performance from Maika Monroe,” IFC President Arianna Bocco said in a statement. “We’re honored to introduce Chloe’s stunning feature debut ‘Watcher’ to audiences across North America, announcing her as a director to watch.”

“It was a hard-fought battle to make ‘Watcher’ during the pandemic, and I’m so proud of everyone who worked to get us to this point,” Okuno said. “I am beyond delighted to partner with IFC Midnight and Shudder to continue this journey together and cannot wait to share the movie with a wider audience.”

Okuno co-wrote the film with Zach Ford and the film is the first produced in a new horror film deal between Image Nation and Spooky Pictures, in association with Lost City. Producers are Roy Lee and Steven Schneider of Spooky Pictures, Derek Dauchy, Mason Novick, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone. Executive producers are James Hoppe, Elizabeth Grave, Ben Ross, Rami Yasin, Gabi Antal.

The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Head of Acquisitions and Production Scott Shooman with UTA Independent Film Group and Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.

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