Studio Babelsberg's workforce has appealed toFederal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to intervene following this week'sdecision by Vivendi Universal to sell the production centre to a German groupof investors.

In an Open Letter delivered to Schroeder on Thursdayafternoon, works committee chairman Jans-Peter Schmarje described the choice ofthe group led by Carl Woebcken and Christoph Fisser as 'evidently theworst option' since 'both investors left bankruptcies and court casesin their previous business commitments and do not have any kind of knowhow inthe field of film. The two managers have also yet to provide the evidence thatthey have the necessary capital resources to give the studio decisiveimpulses.'

Many of the studio's workforce are now occupiedwith preparations for Mission: Impossible 3 and Aeon Flux. Schmarje argued: "projects of this scale ... are jeopardised by the decision from Paris".

At the same time, Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures' Head of Production Henning Molfenter told that he didn't see "any problems" with the current production service deals or with those Babelsberg is negotiating for international projects coming to the Berlin-Brandenburg region through to next year.

The workforce's Open Letter has called on Schroeder to make thefuture of the studios a personal priority.

'If we don't now act with commitment, wewill put twelve hard years of reconstruction and consolidation at stake,'Schmarje wrote.

Meanwhile, it was reported on Thursday that thenew owners were planning to meet the studio management next Wednesday topresent their concept for the studios. (July 21).