Frank Giustra founded Lionsgate in 1997, was chairman until 2003 and returned to the board in 2003. Now the Canadian investor has come aboard to become a major shareholder in Thunderbird Films, the Vancouver-based financing, production and distribution company that owns a 5o% stake in the Blade Runner franchise. The plan is for Thunderbird to change its name and ramp up its TV business, using the new funds to produce projects with multinational co-production partners, manage and exploit intellectual property rights (as in the case of Blade Runner), and oversee third-party distribution activities. “Thunderbird will now have access to sufficient capital to focus on becoming a prominent entity in the production and distribution of television programming with a special emphasis on rights management,” Giustra said. “I look forward to moving the company to its next level of success, leveraging its independence to capitalize on global opportunities.”
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