‘Profile’ Trailer: New Terrorism Thriller Unfolds Using Timur Bekmambetov’s Screenlife Tech

On paper, Timur Bekmambetov doesn’t seem like the kind of filmmaker to spark a genre all its own. As the director of hit Russian superhero flicks Day Watch and Night Watch, he parlayed that into stateside action flicks Wanted, Ben-Hur, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. But since then he’s primarily worked as a producer, and as one of the major purveyors of Screenlife technology, movies that take place entirely on computer screens. Some have been pretty terrible, but every now and then you get something clever, like Searching or the Sundance film R#J. And now Bekmambetov’s latest, Profile, is using Screenlife to tell a very timely story in a unique way.

Bekmambetov actually takes the camera for Profile, along with co-writing the script and producing. The film centers on a journalist who uses social media to infiltrate a terrorist group that has been recruiting its members through Facebook. But as she gets deeper into her investigation, it becomes unclear whether she is becoming radicalized herself.

The cast is led by Valene Kane, Shazad Latif, Christine Adams, and Morgan Watkins.

There’s some truth behind the film, as well. It’s based on the book In the Skin of a Jihadist by French journalist Anna Erelle. It actually debuted three years ago at the Berlin Film Festival but is only just arriving stateside. Focus Features will release Profile on May 14th.

PROFILE follows an undercover British journalist in her quest to bait and expose a terrorist recruiter through social media, while trying not to be sucked in by her recruiter and lured into becoming a militant extremist herself. The unconventional thriller plays out entirely on a computer screen in the Screenlife format, pioneered by Bekmambetov.

 

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.