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Billionaire Owen Glenn Boards Propaganda Film Debut Slate

Variety logo Variety 5/4/2017 Patrick Frater
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Monaco-based billionaire businessman, Sir Owen Glenn has struck a funding partnership to invest in New Zealand’s Propaganda Film and to back its debut slate of movies.

Propaganda was launched in 2016 by New Zealand-based producer Murray Francis (“10,000 BC,” “The World’s Fastest Indian”.) Glenn, a New Zealand national, is coming in as a partner and will own 50% of the company.

The initial slate comprises three commercially-oriented films that will be shot in New Zealand making them eligible for the country’s 40% cash grant. Francis and Glenn will produce and finance. Propaganda will seek production partners and sales agents for its films at this month’s Cannes market.

Michael Hurst (Starz! series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” and “Ash vs Evil Dead”) will direct “Inside Dope,” a crime caper film based on Paul Thomas’ novel of the same title. The screenplay is written by Thomas and Rene Le Bas. The story follows an former undercover detective who takes it upon himself to clean the streets of Auckland and finally imprison the city’s infamous drug tsar.

Romantic comedy, “You’ve Got the Cowboy” tells the tale of a small town radio DJ who travels to Los Angeles in order to try and save his drought stricken rural area. The film will be directed by Josh Frizzell and is written by Norelle Scott.

“Ruptured Soul,” an action-adventure based on real events, features a former soldier seeking to rebuild his life in New Zealand after a failed mission on the Syria/Iraq border. But his past comes back to haunt him. Filming locations include Iraq and London, U.K. as well as New Zealand.

“Our partnership came about serendipitously when I discovered that Sir Owen funded the National Aquatic complex in Auckland that my son and I were visiting,” said Francis. “I reached out to him to express my admiration for his philanthropic work and he responded with interest in my film projects.

“After talking for hours about films, we found that we both share the same vision and desire to make great movies, and our venture was born. I am simply grateful that someone of Sir Owen’s caliber believes in myself and my film slate. Sir Owen is one of the most prolific businessmen in the world and I can’t think of a better person to partner with. We envision this as the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.”

Glenn was born in India, grew up in Auckland, and graduated from Harvard Business School, before making his fortune with Vanguard Logistics Services. Glenn and The Glenn Family Foundation charitable organization are active in multiple regions.

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