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LevelFILM Sells Majority Stake to Laurie Venning (EXCLUSIVE)

LevelFilm has sold a majority stake to investor and entrepreneur Laurie Venning, Variety has learned.

The investment was in cash, and as part of the deal to become its largest shareholder, Venning will take a seat on the indie distributor’s board. Toronto-based LevelFilm was founded by Dave Hudakoc and Michael Baker in 2013. Hudakoc will continue to oversee all of the company’s activities while Baker will continue to play a key role in acquisitions and expanding the company’s development activities.

LevelFilm boasts library of more than 200 films that includes “Edge of Winter” and “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.” Its upcoming releases include Jordan Canning’s “Suck It Up,” Joyce Wong’s “Wexford Plaza” and Rob Grant’s “Fake Blood.”

“We are excited to have Laurie join LevelFilm and his investment gives us the opportunity to expedite the growth Michael and I set out to achieve just four short years ago,” said Hudakoc in a statement. “We will still remain lean and nimble, which have been keys to adapting in a perpetually shifting market, but we will now have additional working capital to put towards our films and projects we believe in.”

The company is also adding several board members such as Ben Charles Silverman, the founder and managing director of the talent agency Integral Artists, and Shane Stevenson, partner with Dentons Canada and a director of Venning’s Venntertainment Corp.

Venning has moved more heavily into the media business in recent years, but the source of his wealth comes from his role as the original founder of Regent Energy Group. There, he worked in the fabrication and manufacture of oil field drilling equipment and manufacturing equipment.

LevelFilm will remain privately held. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

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