Thriving Canadian media production company Thunderbird has bought London-based indie distributor Soda Pictures Limited in order to expand current business in the UK/Ireland and move into film distribution in Canada.
September 5th, 2014 – Today Thunderbird announced that they will be launching a new venture at TIFF, with the World Premiere of Lone Scherfig’s THE RIOT CLUB, which was acquired for Canada from HanWay Films.
The deal will see the two Soda principals – Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher – join forces with Thunderbird to create a stronger, bolder market position, build their libraries, acquire and release new content in both Canada and the UK/Ireland and grow strategic partnerships across the Atlantic.
Gabereau and Fletcher will continue to lead Soda and have long-term contracts with the company. The remit will be to bring high-end British films to Canada, profile Canadian films in the UK and expand the scale and scope of the distribution slate in both territories.
Tim Gamble, CEO of Thunderbird said “We are thrilled to be expanding into the theatrical space with Eve, Edward and the Soda team, they are a great fit for us.”
“Soda has exceptional relationships with filmmakers and an infrastructure in place that will help us expand our reach, library and expertise. By leveraging this, we think it’s a smart way to enter the Canadian distribution market” said Thunderbird Executive Chair Ivan Fecan.
Gabereau adds: “as a Canadian who has lived in London for 16 years, this is the perfect synergy between my business interest, my love of film and my homeland. Launching with The Riot Club says it all. It’s fun, it’s raucous, it’s disturbing, it’s poignant, it’s great, great filmmaking.”
Gabereau negotiated The Riot Club acquisition with Thorsten Schumacher of HanWay. In the coming days at TIFF, other launch titles will be announced.
Soda, founded in 2002, now boasts a library of more than 250 films. From their first film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress to their 2014 slate which includes Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Nigerian Civil War drama Half of a Yellow Sun starring Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, and award-winning eco-thriller Night Moves by Kelly Reichardt, Soda has a reputation for quality films, innovative campaigns and a real passion for cinema.
Thunderbird is a private company, which includes Thunderbird Films, Reunion Pictures and Sea to Sky Studios (a joint venture with Lionsgate). Tim Gamble is CEO, Ivan Fecan is Executive Chair and the largest investor is Frank Giustra, founder of Lionsgate.
Soda will continue to operate under its brand, with the addition of “A Thunderbird Company” as part of the overall corporate identity.
The Riot Club world premiere takes place this Saturday September 6th at TIFF http://www.tiff.net/festivals/thefestival/programmes/galapresentations/the-riot-club