Source: Sundance


IFC Midnight has acquired North American rights to Chloe Okuno’s horror Watcher and will release theatrically and on VoD later this year with Shudder taking the first streaming window.

It marks the second time the AMC Networks stablemates have partnered on an acquisition at this year’s festival after they picked up the psychothriller Resurrection starring Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth.

Watcher premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition and stars It Follows breakout Maika Monroe as a lonely young married woman in Bucharest, Romania, who comes to believe she is being stalked by a neighbour at the same time as a serial killer is terrorising the city. Okuno directed a segment of V/H/S and the short Slut, both of which were released on Shudder, and this marks her solo feature directing debut.

The cast includes Karl Glusman and Burn Gorman. Okuno, who spoke to Screen about the film ahead of the festival, co-wrote the screenplay with Zack Ford and it is the first to be produced through a genre pact between ImageNation and Roy Lee and Steven Schneider’s Spooky Pictures, in association with Lost City.

AGC Studios kicked off screenings for international buyers on Friday in advance of the online EFM.

Lee and Schneider served as producers alongside Derek Dauchy, Mason Novick, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone. Executive producers are James Hoppe, Elizabeth Grave, Ben Ross, Rami Yasin and Gabi Antal.

IFC Films president Arianna Bocco hailed Okuno as “a director to watch”. IFC Films’ head of acquisitions and production Scott Shooman brokered the deal with UTA Independent Film Group and Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.