Sandbox Entertainment president-CEO Jason Owen, one of Nashville’s top management figures, has signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment’s Premium Content Division to produce long-form film, television and digital projects, with the “definitive” June Carter Cash documentary among the first of their collaborations to be announced.
The companies say that over a period of years they plan to develop “a library of projects that tell the stories of music, history, and culture set in the South” — very familiar stomping ground for Owen, a leading figure in Nashville’s music industry who currently helps guide the careers of Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Faith Hill and Kelsea Ballerini.
The June Carter Cash doc will combine interviews with family members with archival footage culled from “unprecedented access to the Cash estate,” much of it, of course, related to her husband Johnny Cash or her lineage before that as part of the 20th century’s first family of country music. The documentary is a natural outgrowth of Sandbox’s management of the estates of June Carter and the Carter Family as well as the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.
That won’t be the first project to come out of the deal, though. The announcement noted that “Love, Tom,” a documentary focused on well-known Nashville songwriter Tom Douglas that just premiered on Paramount Plus, also arrived under the umbrellas of Sandbox Productions and SME.
“Jason is at the forefront of storytelling in Nashville and his relationships across the entire entertainment industry make him an incredible partner to work with,” said Tom Mackay, president of premium content for SME. “We are inspired by his vision to bring new life to beloved stories and look forward to continuing our relationship with Sandbox Productions to reach new audiences across all formats.”
Owen also has other ongoing screen projects outside of this deal, including two Fox network shows, “Monarch,” starring Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins, and “Icon,” a limited series spotlighting the Judds He’s also behind the Apple TV Plus competition series “My Kind of Country,” which he’s co-producing with Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine.
Owen was named manager of the year at Variety‘s annual Hitmakers event in 2019. The producer-manager also has record label co-head as part of his hyphenation; he co-runs Monument Records, which had a chart smash in 2021 with Walker Hayes’ pop-country crossover hit “Fancy Like.”
Said Owen, “Tom Mackay and his team at SME share the same enthusiasm and passion for thinking big picture and value the importance of creating content that is engaging for all audiences. We have a lot more film and TV projects currently in development, and I can’t wait for everyone to see these incredible works come to fruition.”
Owen’s previous TV or streaming credits include Amazon’s “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show,” the syndicated daytime show “Pickler & Ben,” the Showtime music doc “Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul,” the ABC special “Shania: Still the One Live From Vegas” (starring his former client Shania Twain) and the Cooking Channel’s “Kimberly’s Simply Southern” (hosted by Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman).
Before he started Sandbox in 2010, Owen was senior director of marketing and talent relations at Columbia TriStar Television and then moved on to become SVP of artist development and marketing for Universal Music Group Nashville.