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January 31, 2013

Thunderbird Films Co-Founder Michael Shepard Exits to Launch Own TV Shingle


Etan Vlessing / The Hollywood Reporter

CEO Tim Gamble will take control of the Vancouver-based indie producer after Lionsgate founding investor Frank Giustra came on board as a major shareholder.

TORONTO – Thunderbird Films president Michael Shepard has left the Vancouver-based indie producer to launch his own TV production outfit, Mindset Television.
His exit comes eight months after Canadian businessman Frank Giustra, who initially launched Lionsgate Entertainment in 1997 before leaving in 2003, took a major stake in Thunderbird Films as it ramps up its TV production and distribution operations.
Thunderbird has since formed a TV production partnership with Lionsgate, and former Porchlight Entertainment exec Joe Broido is heading up a Los Angeles office for the Canadian producer.
Thunderbird CEO Tim Gamble will assume the role of president, as he takes the indie producer from mainly rights management to indie production with projects like the sitcom Package Deal for Canadian broadcaster City and an upcoming Blade Runner movie reboot, with original director Ridley Scott attached.
Gamble will executive produce the Blade Runner film, now in development by Alcon Entertainment.
Shepard is leaving Thunderbird with a first look deal for financing and distribution of projects in development.