Murray Francis’ Propaganda Film has acquired a heavyweight backer in the form of businessman and philanthropist Owen Glenn (pictured, top). Glenn’s money built the University of Auckland business school building that bears his name and is home to the Big Screen Symposium. This year the venue will also host the Screen Edge Forum.
Separate from his Film Business company, Francis (Z For Zachariah, The World’s Fastest Indian) established Propaganda Film with cash from the NZFC’s Boost scheme last year. Although Francis credits the partnership with Glenn as the result of serendipity, it delivers significant investment into NZ screen production in a way that the agency’s more costly Business Development Scheme was intended to but – to date, at least – hasn’t.
Glenn now has a 50% stake in Propaganda Film and will co-finance the first three features that longtime producer Francis has in development on his Propaganda Film slate.
Michael Hurst (800 Words, Westside, Ash vs Evil Dead) is attached to direct NZ-set vendetta title Inside Dope, adapted by Rene Le Bas and Paul Thomas from Thomas’ novel. Josh Frizzell (The Brokenwood Mysteries, Nothing Trivial) will direct NZ-US set comedyYou’ve Got the Cowboy, written by Norelle Scott (Shark in the Park, User Friendly). No team is yet announced for drama Ruptured Soul, which is set in Iraq, the UK and NZ.
Propaganda will head for Cannes next week aiming to attract more partners to the titles, all of which are designed to qualify for NZSPG support.