Lionsgate Founder to Receive Career Tribute at Vancouver Film Fest

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Frank Giustra launched the company in 1997 and runs a charitable foundation with former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Lionsgate founder Frank Giustra is set to be honored by the Vancouver Film Festival in October with a career tribute.

The Vancouver-based billionaire will receive the inaugural VIFF Screen Industry Builder Award on Oct. 1 for launching entertainment companies like Lionsgate, Thunderbird Films and Sea To Sky Entertainment after first making his fortune in Canadian mining. The one-time investment banker launched Lionsgate in 1997 to capitalize on Vancouver's growing film industry.

He stepped down as CEO in 2000 and sold most of his stake in the company three years later to a consortium led by current CEO Jon Feltheimer. Giustra got back in business with Lionsgate after The Hunger Games studio and Thunderbird Films launched Sea to Sky Entertainment, a film and TV partnership.

He will executive produce Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, to star Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford and to be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners). Giustra has grown his stable of Vancouver-based entertainment assets as the major Hollywood studios continue heading north to save millions of dollars per movie or TV series by shooting in British Columbia.

"Film and television have always been great passions of mine, and to receive this inaugural VIFF Screen Industry Builder Award in my hometown is a special honor that I will share with the people who have worked with me throughout the years to achieve great things in the industry,” said Giustra said in a statement.

He remains a Lionsgate board member and runs a charitable foundation with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership.