Ferrania to restart film production in still and movie formats
Italian film and camera brand Ferrania is set to come back to life after a Kickstarter fundraising project reached its target with over two weeks left to run. A company called FILM Ferrania will use the money raised to re-commission and redesign existing machinery from closed sections of the Ferrania factory to begin the manufacture of film. Initial production will be for 35mm and 120 roll formats for stills, and Super 8 and 16mm movie film. The first batch of film, pledged to Kickstarter backers, will be an E6 process transparency film based on the 100 ASA ScotchChrome from the late 1990s, but the company says it wants to go on to produce color negative and black and white emulsions in a wide range of sheet and roll formats.
Ferrania was founded in 1923 and became a well-known stills and movie film manufacturer as well as a maker of cameras that were very popular in Italy and Europe. Before the film plant closed in 2010 it had been owned by the 3M Corporation and Imation, and had become a major supplier of private brand 35mm and APS films for supermarkets, processing houses, camera stores as well as for films sold as Scotch, Konica, Lomography, Polaroid and Samsung.
With the original buildings still standing on the factory site, and due to be demolished soon, the new FILM Ferrania project intends to rescue machinery from a large scale coating line, a triacetate film base manufacturing plant and a chemical lab so that film can be made, coated and cut. The company has already secured one small production line, on which its first batch of slide film will be made, but it says it is slow and expensive to run. The large scale line, called Big Boy, is capable of producing up to 3300 square metres of film per hour, enough for 329 million rolls of 36-exposure 35mm film in a year, but the company wants to reduce this capacity to a level more realistic for today’s digital-focused market.
The Kickstarter project has a goal of $250,000 but with 16 days still to run had reached almost $256,000 via 4520 backers. Those pledging funds for FILM Ferrania will receive gifts of the first batch of 35mm, 120, Super 8 and 16mm film, as well as stickers and their name on the Founder’s Wall in the new plant.
For more information visit the FILM Ferrania website, or the Kickstarter project
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