Parnaland, Ambroise-Françoise


Parnaland, Ambroise-Françoise
(1854-1913)
   Film pioneer and producer. An accountant by trade, Ambroise Parnaland was also an amateur inventor and someone with a keen interest in all things technological. Among Parnaland's inventions were several film cameras including the Phototheagraphe and the Cinepar, both patented in 1896. As a result of his interest in photography and motion photography in particular, Parnaland founded the company Parnaland Frères in 1895. Initially, the company sold cameras, most notably the Cinepar, but eventually Parnaland branched into film production. The studio made a number of films, including La Malle et l'auvergnat (1900), Grosse tête de Pierrot (1900), and En passant l'octroi (1901).
   Parnaland Frères was, however, plagued almost from the beginning. The company used a "P.F." logo that was identical to that used by Pathé Frères, which caused confusion. In addition, the company distributed films Parnaland had taken of Parisian surgeon Dr. Eugène-Louis Doyen performing surgery without Doyen's permission. The ensuing legal action forced Parnaland to reorganize his company, and it was eventually recreated as Éclair studios in 1907. Parland himself was not long at Éclair. His partner in the reorganization venture, the lawyer Charles Jourjon, forced Parnaland out of the company in short order. Parnaland went back to selling photographic equipment but without much success. By 1912, he had given up on all things photographic and had gone back to being an accountant.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

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  • Parnaland, Ambroise-Françoise — (1854 1913)    Film pioneer and producer. An accountant by trade, Ambroise Parnaland was also an amateur inventor and someone with a keen interest in all things technological. Among Parnaland s inventions were several film cameras including the… …   Guide to cinema


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