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August 13, 2015

Frank Giustra Announced as the Inaugural Recipient of VIFF SCREEN INDUSTRY BUILDER AWARD, Presented by BC CREATES


VANCOUVER, B.C. (August 13, 2015) – During its 34th edition, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) will honour Frank Giustra, legendary financier and philanthropist, with its inaugural VIFF Screen Industry Builder Award. The Vancouver Board of Trade will host the 2015 Award presentation on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Tickets will go on sale Friday August 14, 2015.

In celebration of Vancouver as a destination for excellence, creativity and innovation in screen-based media, the Award will be presented in collaboration with BC Creates, an initiative established by key BC creative industries stakeholders to develop and widely share a ‘new narrative’ that profiles the myriad of accomplishments, contributions and future potential of British Columbia’s vibrant creative economy. The Award aims to recognize individuals who have greatly contributed to the success of British Columbia’s creative industries; have elevated the international profile of British Columbia as a destination for excellence; and support the development and advancement of the local economy.

Among the illustrious honouree’s vast accomplishments, Frank Giustra invested in building creative organizations such as Lionsgate Entertainment, Thunderbird Films and Sea To Sky Entertainment that employ directors, actors, designers, musicians and many other artists. Thunderbird Films most recently launched Soda Pictures Canada, a distributor of independent films. In 1997, out of sheer passion for the love of film, Mr. Giustra founded Lionsgate Entertainment named after the iconic Lionsgate Bridge in Vancouver. Now, Lionsgate Entertainment is one of the largest independent film companies in the world competing with Hollywood titans. Mr. Giustra’s investments have established British Columbia as a key player internationally in screen-based industries, demonstrating that as investors and risk-takers, its creative economy is positioned for growth.

“As a creator, visionary and savvy businessman with interests in film, philanthropy and British Columbia as a destination for innovation, Frank Giustra is the ideal inaugural honouree for VIFF’s Screen Industry Builder Award,” said Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director of VIFF. “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with BC Creates on an initiative that will build a foundation upon which to profile BC’s global leadership in the screen-based media sector.”

“We’re very pleased to join VIFF and the Vancouver Board of Trade in recognizing Frank Giustra for his significant contributions to British Columbia as an international centre for creative excellence and enterprise,” said Peter Leitch, Motion Picture Production Industry Association Chair and ‘BC Creates’ founding stakeholder. “Mr. Giustra is a fine example of the vision and spirit at the heart of the creative economy that now thrives here in BC. Thanks to Frank Giustra and others like him, ‘BC Creates’ today showcases the story of a creative economy that generates 4 billion in GDP, supports 85,000 jobs, and attracts talent locally and from around the globe,” Leitch added.

About Frank Giustra

Frank Giustra is CEO of Fiore Group, a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments and companies, specializing in food and lifestyle, art and entertainment, while having a proven track-record in financing and creating public natural resource companies. Mr. Giustra’s entrepreneurial success also includes founding Lionsgate Entertainment, now one of the world’s largest independent film companies. Mr. Giustra is a major shareholder of Thunderbird Films, a company focused on content and distribution in the television and film sector. In 2014, he founded Fiore Music and Westsonic Music Inc., and actively composes lyrics for songs in all genres.

Mr. Giustra is a strong believer in philanthropy, and devotes much of his time to a variety of causes. He established The Radcliffe Foundation, which supports a wide variety of international and local charities. Since 2005, Mr. Giustra has become an active executive member with the International Crisis Group, a widely recognized independent, non-partisan source of analysis and advice to policymakers on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.

In 2007, Mr. Giustra and former President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, with the focus of creating social and economic development programs through impact investing, in parts of the world where poverty is widespread. Mr. Giustra sits on a variety of non-profit, private and public boards.

Mr. Giustra is a board member of Lionsgate Entertainment, Endeavour Mining, Petromanas Energy and Thunderbird Films. In addition, he sits on boards of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, International Crisis Group, and Streetohome Foundation.

About VIFF

Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), the annual VIFF Industry Conference and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. Its mandate is to encourage understanding of the world’s cultures through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world, and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia. In its 34th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 24-October 9, 2015 as it showcases the top BC, Canadian and international films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe. The 30th Annual VIFF Industry Conference takes place from September 29-October 3, 2015 provides creative, business and networking opportunities for content creators to forge strategic alliances; professional development opportunities in the areas of writing, directing and producing for screen based industries; showcases developments in direct distribution, marketing and engagement; and hosts the caliber of guests that make the event exceptional.

About BC Creates

BC Creates is a branded communications initiative established by creative industries stakeholders from film + television, music, digital media + technology, and book + magazine publishing to celebrate and engage British Columbia in the story of the Province’s vibrant creative economy.

For more information, please contact:

Laura Sosin
Jive Communications
laura@jivecommunications.ca | media@viff.org