Rich Cowan

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Rich Cowan
Born Richard Martin Cowan
(1956-02-07) February 7, 1956 (age 59)
Spokane, Washington
Nationality American
Alma mater Washington State University (BA, MS)
Occupation CEO and Co-Founder, North by Northwest Productions
Political party
Campaign Website

Rich Cowan (born February 7, 1956) was the 2012 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington's 5th congressional district.[1] He is also an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. He co-founded North by Northwest Productions, a video and film production company based in Spokane, Washington. After starting the company in 1990 with a group of partners, he served as its CEO for 22 years, launching the movie industry in the Inland Northwest and producing more than 40 feature films.

Early life and education[edit]

Rich Cowan was born in Spokane, Washington to George and Betty Cowan. His father served in the United States Air Force, and his mother was a school teacher. He attended Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism, cum laude, and a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition. While in Pullman, Cowan worked as a fire fighter and emergency medical technician, living in the firehouse for six years. Cowan earned his pilot's license in high school and worked as a pilot in Alaska while in college.[2]

Television career[edit]

Cowan's career in media began in 1979 at Spokane television station KHQ-TV, the local NBC affiliate, on its PM Magazine show. He eventually became the station's Community Affairs Director. In 1989 Cowan produced the TV documentary about then-Congressman and House Majority Leader Tom Foley, titled "The Gentleman from Washington." Cowan spent a week with Congressman Foley taping the video and gathering interviews with colleagues such as House Minority Leader Robert Michel, Rep. Leon Panetta and Senator Dan Evans. Cowan won two Emmy awards from the Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences while with KHQ.

North by Northwest Productions[edit]

Cowan co-founded the video and film production company North by Northwest Productions in 1990. The company originally specialized in commercial and industrial video production, but quickly began expanding its business. The company now contains five separate divisions as well as a studio in Boise, Idaho. In 1995, North by Northwest produced its first feature-length film. Following on that success, the company produced its first breakout movie, "The Basket," in 1999. Cowan directed, produced, and co-wrote the feature which won several awards, including Best of the Fest Family/Children from the Breckenridge Festival of Film, Directors Gold Medal Award from the International Family Film Festival, and Best Family Movie of the Year from the Movie Guide Awards. He has since been involved with over 40 additional feature film projects, including producer credits on Lies and illusions, Norman, and Camilla Dickinson.

Political career[edit]

In February 2012, Cowan announced his candidacy for Washington State's 5th Congressional District.[3] In May, he received the official nomination of the Washington State Democratic Party to run for that seat. He ran against incumbent U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican. McMorris Rodgers had been serving as the U.S. Representative for the 5th District since 2005. In the primary, Cowan received 35.65% of the vote,[4] enough to beat out two other primary contenders and face McMorris Rodgers in the general election. Cowan lost in the general, receiving 38.08% of the vote to McMorris Rodgers' 61.92%.[5]

In 2014, Cowan ran against incumbent state senator Michael Baumgartner for Washington's 6th Legislative District senate seat. In the primary, Cowan received 42.69% of the primary vote[6] and moved on to face Baumgartner in the general election. Cowan lost in the general, receiving roughly 43% of the vote to Baumgartner's 57%.[7]


Rich Cowan has been involved in over 40 feature film products.

Year Film Producer Director Writer Other Notes
1994 Hard Vice Yes Editor
1996 Navajo Blues Yes Yes Supervising Producer, North by Northwest; Unit Production Manager
1997 Laws of Deception Yes Editor
1998 Matter of Trust Yes Editor
Mel Yes Yes Executive Producer, Post-Production Supervisor
1999 The Basket Yes Yes Yes Yes Editor
2000 The Giving Tree Yes Unit Production Manager; Production Coordinator
2001 Jazz Seen: The Life and Times of William Claxton Yes Executive Producer
2002 Whacked! Yes
2003 The Big Empty Yes Line Producer
Hangman's Curse Yes
2004 The Making of the Passion of the Christ Yes Yes
The Spider Wrangler: The Spiders of Hangman's Curse Yes
Frank Peretti: From Page to Screen Yes
Shadow of Fear Yes
2005 Mozart and the Whale Yes Executive in Charge of Production
The Cutter Yes Executive in Charge of Production
2006 The Choke Yes Producer, Executive Producer
End Game Yes Executive in Charge of Production
Home of the Brave Yes Production Executive
2007 Frank Yes Executive Producer
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Yes First Assistant Director
The Family Holiday Yes
2008 Dog Gone Yes Co-Producer
2009 Give 'Em Hell, Malone Yes Yes Executive Producer, Unit Production Manager
Lies & Illusions Yes
Falling Up Yes Executive Producer
Wrong Turn at Tahoe Yes Yes Unit Production Manager
2010 Norman Yes
Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!! Yes
Late Autumn Yes Executive Producer
The Ward Yes Yes Executive Producer, Unit Production Manager
The Big Bang Yes Yes Executive Producer, Unit Production Manager
2011 Thunderballs Yes
The Hit List Yes Yes Actor (Uncredited)
The River Murders Yes Yes
2012 Camilla Dickinson Yes Executive Producer
Knights of Badassdom Yes Executive Producer


  1. ^ a b Spokesman Review Election Center Retrieved June 21, 2012
  2. ^ Official Bio Retrieved June 21, 2012
  3. ^ Cowan throws hat in ring for Congress Spokesman Review, February 11, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012
  4. ^ Congressional District 5 - U.S. Representative - County Results Washington Secretary of State webpage. Retrieved November 7, 2014
  5. ^ Congressional District 5 - U.S. Representative - County Results Washington Secretary of State webpage. Retrieved November 7, 2014
  6. ^ Spokane County Elections Resules Spokane County Elections. Retrieved November 7, 2014
  7. ^ Spokane County Elections Resules Spokane County Elections. Retrieved November 7, 2014

External links[edit]