Global, multiplatform, content production company earns a Top 10 spot in the Film and Television category of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list

VANCOUVER, CANADA (March 10, 2020) — Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD, OTC: THBRF) (Thunderbird or the Company) has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020.  The Company has earned the standing of #9 in the Film and Television category.

The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world. This year’s MIC list features 434 businesses from 39 countries.

“We are thrilled and humbled to be recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in the world. Our mission is to produce premium, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place, and this achievement is a testament to the entire Company’s shared commitment to making this happen,” says Jennifer Twiner McCarron, CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment. “We look forward to continuing our work and bringing to light new, compelling stories that not only break ground onscreen, but also behind-the-scenes.”

Focused on diversity and inclusion, Thunderbird has championed several programs aimed at increasing representation in the television industry of underrepresented and minority groups, including women and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) both onscreen and off. A recent study showed that despite representing nearly 40% of the U.S. population, people of color made up just 21.5% of broadcast scripted leads, 21.3% of cable scripted leads and 21.3% of digital scripted leads. Meanwhile women, who make up just over half of the U.S. population, appeared in 39.7% of broadcast scripted leads, 43.1% of cable scripted leads and 42.8% of digital scripted leads.[1] Behind the scenes, 65% of POC writers reported having been the only POC on staff and this number jumps to 68%  for LGBTQ+ writers.[2] Thunderbird’s contributions include supporting a Women in Animation’s Art Director Master Class program, Atomic’s Molly of Denali internships, Great Pacific’s On the Rise program, which supports Indigenous independent filmmaking, and Kim’s Convenience participating in the Live it to Learn program for people of colour with the Regent Park Film Festival.

Thunderbird Entertainment is a global, content production company that develops, produces and distributes animated, factual, and scripted content through its various divisions, including Thunderbird kids and family (Atomic Cartoons), Thunderbird factual (Great Pacific Media) and Thunderbird Productions. The Company has offices across North America, and is continuing to scale up both its owned-IP slate and its capacity to provide premium content to trusted media partners worldwide. Most recently, this includes the opening of a third animation studio in Los Angeles, one of the world’s largest media markets, which enables Atomic Cartoons to house 880 crew members across its three animation studios.

In the past year, Thunderbird has proudly made steady progress across all divisions, delivering excellent operational results while also continuing to build a very special, mission and values-focused organization. Additional highlights of the past year include:

  • The success of Atomic’s Molly of Denali for WGBH/PBS Kids and CBC, which was recognized by The New York Times on the publication’s list of The Best TV Episodes of 2019. Molly of Denali is the first cartoon series with an Alaska Native character as the lead. The series has Indigenous input at all levels of production
  • Wrapping up principal photography with eight episodes of the critically-acclaimed documentary series Queen of the Oil Patch (Season 2) being produced. The series has been hailed for providing an insightful look into LGBT2SQ+ and Indigenous communities that have previously been unseen on mainstream TV.
  • Embarking on a new partnership with The Jim Henson Company to develop a new animated series called Nate Create. Inspired by varying artistic styles that will change every episode, the series represents one of the most ambitious productions that Atomic has undertaken to date.
  • The warm reception of the premiere of Season 4 of the award-winning series, Kim’s Convenience. Kim’s Convenience first debuted in 2016 and made history from day one as Canada’s first TV sitcom led by Asian actors.

Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet across a myriad of industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process. The World’s Most Innovative Companies list is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.

“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with deputy editor David Lidsky.

Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2020) is now available online at fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2020, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 17, 2020. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.

ABOUT FAST COMPANY

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine of the Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.

ABOUT THUNDERBIRD ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a Vancouver-based global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Ottawa. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted, and animated programming for the world’s leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and International broadcasters. Thunderbird’s vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place. The Company develops, produces and distributes animated, factual, and scripted content through its various divisions, including Thunderbird kids and family (Atomic Cartoons), Thunderbird factual (Great Pacific Media) and Thunderbird productions. Thunderbird is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tbirdent. For more information, visit: www.thunderbird.tv.

Investor Relations Contacts:

Lucas Cahill and Freddie Leigh

Phone: + 1 604.683.3555

Email: investors@thunderbird.tv

Media Relations Contact:

Julia Smith, Finch Media

Phone: +1 604.803.0897

Email:  julia@finchmedia.net

Neither the TSX-V nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX-V) accepts responsibility of the adequacy or accuracy of this release, which has been prepared by management.

[1] Darnell Hunt, Ana-Christina Ramon, Michael Tran. Hollywood Diversity Report 2019 (UCLA College Social Sciences, 2019).

[2] Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity (TTIE). Behind the Scenes: the state of inclusion and equity in the tv writers room. 2019.