You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gaul probes Technicolor role in Quinta Industries failure

Appellate court looks into Technicolor records


French judicial authorities have begun an investigation into the business affairs of Technicolor, as part of a civil lawsuit lodged by Tarak Ben Ammar against the post-production company, its former associate in Paris-based Quinta Industries.

Evidence could also be used in the separate criminal complaint brought against Technicolor.

As part of the discovery process, the Appellate Court of Versailles ordered the probe of Technicolor’s French headquarters. Computer files and phone records of execs, including managing director Frederic Rose, were removed on Friday and are now being examined.

Quinta Industries, Ben Ammar’s French post-production and visual effects business, went bankrupt in December. Technicolor owned 17.5% of Quinta Industries and was a board member of the company.

Once Quinta Industries was placed in bankruptcy, Technicolor made a bid to acquire its key assets, including audio companies Auditorium of Joinville and SIS, plus post-production houses Scanlab and Duboi. The French commercial court greenlit the bid.

Ben Ammar, who produced films such as “Black Gold” via his production/distrib powerhouse Quinta Communications, alleges that Technicolor used Quinta Industries to prevent rival post-production group Deluxe from entering the French market.

When Technicolor became a shareholder in Quinta Industries in 2006, it forbade Ben Ammar’s company from negotiating with Deluxe. This clause in the contract became crucial as Deluxe could have helped Quinta Industries come out of bankruptcy last year, per Quinta execs.

Ben Ammar’s suit claims that Technicolor maneuvered to block the arrival of Deluxe in France, and prompted the downfall of Quinta Industries to buy the company’s assets for a knockdown price.

Ben Ammar’s suit also charges that Technicolor declined to acquire more stakes in Quinta Industries in conditions deemed “disloyal.” It claims that Technicolor failed to disclose its plan to launch a post production facility in Gaul, Technicolor Entertainment Services France, and withheld information about its negotiations with Deluxe (which resulted in a pact to allow Deluxe to take over 35mm printing for Technicolor in the U.S. and Canada).

Technicolor announced the launch of Technicolor Entertainment Services France earlier this year. Headed by Michel Vaquin, it regroups the bulk of Quinta Industries’ biz as well as a dubbing facility. It also intends to launch an animation studio.

The French authorities have not said how long it will take to complete the probe into the case.

Technicolor denies any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Technicolor said, “Technicolor insists that the acquisition of Quinta Industries’ assets was completed in strict accordance with the law, following the company’s judicial liquidation by the Commercial Court of Nanterre.”

In France, judicial liquidation occures when a company goes bankrupt and is dismantled.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at

    'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at Camerimage Film Festival

    “Joker” cinematographer Lawrence Sher’s bid, along with director Todd Phillips, to try something “perhaps even a bit artful” won big Saturday in Torun, Poland as he took the top prize at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival. The Golden Frog for cinematography, along with the audience prize, went to his work filming Joaquin Phoenix in the [...]

  • Roberto Schaefer

    Netflix Image Enhancement Rules Take Cinematographers by Surprise

    A Netflix requirement that cinematographers capture films in HDR, or high dynamic range, has taken many by surprise, filmmakers say, but those at the 27th EnergaCamerimage festival in Poland seem increasingly accepting of the change. DP Roberto Schaefer, whose “Red Sea Diving Resort” screened at the cinematography fest in the historic city of Torun, said [...]

  • Lech Majewski and Josh Hartnett

    Lech Majewski on ‘Valley of the Gods,’ Navaho Mythology, Josh Hartnett, Keir Dullea

    TORUN, Poland – In his latest work, “The Valley of the Gods,” director Lech Majewski explores the ancient mythology of a downtrodden people and the absurd wealth of the world’s richest man in a surreal vision of modern America. The film screened at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival as part of special showcase honoring Majewski, [...]

  • The Red Sea Diving Resort

    Cinematographer Roberto Schaefer on Gideon Raff's Thriller ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’

    TORUN, Poland – While Gideon Raff’s Netflix thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” shot largely in South Africa and Namibia, the project was a welcomed opportunity for cinematographer Roberto Schaefer due to his own memorable travels through Ethiopia. The film, which screened in the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section, is loosely based [...]

  • Film director and scriptwriter Vojtech Jasny

    Vojtech Jasny, Award-Winning Czech Filmmaker, Dies at 93

    Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny, director of “All My Good Countrymen,” which won the best director prize at Cannes in 1969, has died. He was 93. According to the Associated Press, Slovacke divadlo, a theatre he frequently visited, said that Jasny died Friday, and a family representative confirmed his death to the CTK news agency. Jasny [...]

  • Noelle Anna Kendrick

    Film Review: 'Noelle' on Disney Plus

    What do you get when you toss together Christmas cheer, Christmas kitsch, a fish-out-of-the-North-Pole setup swiped from “Elf,” and a plot that turns on whether Kris Kringle’s daughter, played as a perky naïf by Anna Kendrick, has what it takes to step into her dad’s snow boots? You get a plastic icicle like “Noelle,” Long [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content