FILM Ferrania Says Film Photography and Cinematography Is Not Dead, Begins Manufacturing Process

After various setbacks and delays over the past two years, Italy's FILM Ferrania has begun preparations to make slide film for analog still and movie cameras. This puts the company back on track to make a first batch of film for distribution to backers of their Kickstarter project.

Ferrania was refounded as FILM Ferrania in 2013 to take over the production of film for analog photography and cinematography at the Ferrania factory in northern Italy after its previous owner, the 3M company, closed down operations in 2010. FILM Ferrania took to Kickstarter in September 2014. They successfully financed their "100 More Years of Analog Film" project there on October 29, 2014, with pledges totaling $322,420 and a timeline to send out rewards in April of 2015. They soon ran into trouble meeting this date, as well as a revised June 2015 shipping date. A harsh winter, the discovery of asbestos in one of the factory buildings, and multiple delays because of problems with utilities suppliers made the schedule unachievable.

In a statement on their website, Ferrania announced on October 11 that the preparation of stored jumbo rolls of triacetate base for production had begun. After a successful coating test in September, this marks the first work Ferrania has done directly on films they will ship to customers. The film stock Ferrania will produce during this initial run is a reengineered version of Scotch Chrome 100 slide film. A daylight-balanced film, it will be suitable for use both as a still photography film in 135 and 120 rolls, as well as motion picture stock in 16mm and Super 8 formats.

Explaining Ferrania's choice of an E6 reversal film to restart production with, Founder and CEO Nicola Baldini stated in a 2013 interview with Japan Camera Hunter:

We know that at the moment, the market needs a good reversal color film, especially for small cinema formats, and we are sure that a reengineered version of the classic Scotch Chrome 100 could satisfy most of filmmakers' and photographers' needs.

Future plans, according to Baldini, also include making film in discontinued or scarce formats such as 126 or 124, as well as a version of Ferrania's Solaris FG-100 Plus color negative film. There is no clear statement from Ferrania yet as to when Kickstarter backers will receive their film rewards. Ferrania's most optimistic estimate put the timeline for making and shipping a first run of film at four months, which makes it likely that backers will have to be patient at least until some time in early 2017.

Torsten Kathke's picture

Torsten is a documentary photographer and historian based in Cologne, Germany. He enjoys combining analog and digital processes in both photography and filmmaking. When he is not roaming the streets with old film cameras, he can usually be found digging through dusty archives or ensconced at home reading and writing.

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There is both great news and bad news here. Great, because more film in coming to market. Bad, because Scotch Chrome was a woefully bad film, at least as I remember it.

Yes, I've heard that. Never bought it myself, though. I pretty much stick to Provia 100. The examples of Scotch Chrome I can find on the internet aren't half bad, if a little grainy. Since film itself is now a choice and not a must, this may be the right material for some projects.