Quinta Communications boss Tarak Ben Ammar has moved to reassure the French industry that he recognises a 'cultural responsibility' in his takeover of the country's post-production sector.
In December, Ben Ammar bought a 57% stake in post-production group Eclair, cementing his position as the owner of all of France's film labs.
Industry groups the SRF, the SACD and ARP- representing directors, writersand producers -have expressed concern that Eclair would be broken up and called for the buyout to be looked at under competition rules.
NowBen Ammar has sent a letter to the groups in which he said he understood those concerns but did not share them.
'Faced with changing film and TV production and post-production technologies, which each day demand more investments for the technical industries, and faced with competition now situated on the European, and global, level, it was indispensable that the digital and photochemical post-production sector become streamlined and consolidated in order to be more efficient,' wrote Ben Ammar's.
However, he said he shared the belief that film companies 'can't be like others and that beyond performance rules and good management, they must take on cultural responsibilities.'
To that end, Ben Ammar promised to maintain 'a policy of conservation, restoration and management of (France's) cinematic heritage, entirely located in France.'
He further said that the entities resulting from the Eclair purchase would be united with the industry in the fight against piracy and that he would organize a yearly meeting for his companies to discuss the evolution of the business with industry professionals.
The letter also promised to maintain and develop cooperation between the different players in the digital and photochemical domains.
Finally, Ben Ammar added that he will see that his companies pay particular attention to economically fragile films and, on a wider scale, to the film production sectors which need the support of the technical business for their maintenance.
The SRF, ARP and SACD together said today that they have taken note of the promises and will observe how the commitments are respected over the next months.