Fight Network investor Loudon Owen gets into the movie game

The Canadian venture capitalist (pictured) launches Know Rules Media as a maker of compelling, socially-relevant films in the $1 million to $25 million range.
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Canadian entertainment investor Loudon Owen is pacting with filmmaker Sanzhar Sultanov to launch a film production company, Know Rules Media.

The Toronto-based firm will make mostly theatrical features, but also has a documentary, a TV drama series and a web-based platform in the pipeline.

“Our main focus is making great films. We want to tell some great stories. For us, that means daring, inspirational and powerful stories that have social and culture value,” Sultanov tells Playback.

Owen, an early investor and adviser to Daniel Langlois’s 3D animation company Softimage before it was sold to Microsoft in 1994, famously tangled yet again with the U.S. tech giant over a patent infringement dispute.

The David vs. Goliath legal battle went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before in 2011 Owen’s Toronto software company, i4i LP, prevailed against Microsoft with a $290 million judgement.

Owen is also a major shareholder in Leonard Asper’s The Fight Network, the mixed martial arts TV sports channel.

Now with Know Rules Media, he and Sultanov are looking to develop their own movie projects, including one based on the i4i-Microsoft battle and another about an early 1700′s slave rebellion in Jamaica.

And the production shingle is looking for stand-out movie scripts it can develop and produce with international finance partners.

“It’s stories that change peoples’ lives, films that are inspirational,” Sultanov explains.

The movie projects will ideally be made in Toronto, using local talent and resources.

“We have great companies and crews that are eager to work with us for our vision and what we’re able to achieve,” Sultanov, who recently released his debut feature, Burning Daylight, said.

Know Rules Media movies will likely be in the $1 million to $25 million budget range.

Sultanov said a changing Canadian distribution sector now allows indie producers like his own to make movies with high production values in the $5 million range.

And Know Rules Media will ideally be looking to partner up with a major studio to get its theatrical projects released at the local multiplex.

But it will also consider going the festival route to find a distributor.

And on the international front, Know Rules Media is developing media partnerships in Asia, especially in China, where Owen’s venture capital firm has a branch.