PRESS RELEASE: 12pm EST Wednesday, February 1 2017
My name is Nicola Baldini, and I am the co-founder of FILM Ferrania, a film company created in 2013 with the aim of building a manufacturing base for the modern age. The roots of FILM Ferrania grew from the legendary Italian film company, Ferrania, which ceased operations in 2009.
I am thrilled to announce that our first product, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA, an 80 ISO, 35mm, black and white film, will begin pre-sales mid-February 2017.
P30® ALPHA recreates the beloved P30 motion picture film formula produced by Ferrania during the 1960s making it the only B&W “cinema film” for still photography currently available.
P30® ALPHA is the first step towards FILM Ferrania’s production of color film in still and motion picture formats.
Watch the introductory video below, then scroll down to read the press release in full and view the sample images. I’ve also added a few thoughts at the foot of this page, which you may be interested in reading.
Official press release:
Cairo Montenotte (SV), Italy – FILM Ferrania is proud to announce its first product, FERRANIA P30®, in a limited ALPHA edition.
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA reproduces, with modern techniques developed by FILM Ferrania scientists, the exact film that made Ferrania world-famous more than 50 years ago.
With its cinema pedigree, ultra fine grain, and very high silver content, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA has no peers in the modern analog film market.
Pre-sales of FERRANIA P30® ALPHA in 35mm still format, with 36 exposures, will begin mid-February 2017 at www.filmferrania.it/shop.
A Jewel from the Age of the Italian Cinema Masters
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA is an 80 ISO panchromatic black & white motion picture film for still photography, and reintroduces the legendary P30 film produced by Ferrania during the 1960s. FERRANIA P30® ALPHA is coated on triacetate base and features an incredibly high silver content of 5 grams per square meter.
Speaking about this silver-rich film, FILM Ferrania CEO Nicola Baldini states, “Each frame is like a piece of jewellery.”
Pasolini, Rossellini, Visconti and many other Italian directors powered their masterpieces with P30 film. In 1961, Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for “La Cio ciara” ( Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica and the entire world started to appreciate the beauty of FERRANIA P30® . In 1963, the legendary film 8 ½ by Federico Fellini was shot on FERRANIA P30® stock, cementing its place in cinema history.
Building a Viable Future for Analog Film
The original Ferrania company began making still and cinema film products in 1917 and quickly became the “Kodak of Italy”. In 1964, Ferrania was purchased by the 3M Corporation and the research facility, Laboratori Ricerche Fotografiche (or “LRF”) was built. Under 3M’s ownership, Ferrania grew to be the fourth largest film manufacturer in the world. All film production operations ended in 2009.
In 2013, FILM Ferrania was born when co-founders Nicola Baldini and Marco Pagni visited Ferrania. They recognized the raw potential of the old factory and began a challenging industrial downscaling project designed to match the needs of the modern analog film market by using the LRF as the primary facility. Inside this single building is a color film factory “in miniature.” Its overall footprint and resource demands, as well as production capacity, are a small fraction of existing manufacturers – but it is capable of producing, in a sustainable way, professional-quality motion picture and still film products that rival any in the market.
In addition to the LRF, FILM Ferrania has secured hundreds of tons of equipment from the former campus that will be essential for expansion efforts, and has saved more than 90 years worth of unique documentation containing the entire film manufacturing knowledge of Ferrania. Key to this salvage effort was a highly-successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, launched in October 2014. Over 5500 backers from around the world pledged $322,420 USD to save “Trixie”, “Walter” and “Big Boy”.
With these elements in hand, FILM Ferrania is creating the world’s first color film manufacturing base that is expressly designed for the 21st century market.
So, what do you think? FERRANIA P30 may not be the ISO 100 ScotchChrome that formed the basis of the original Kickstarter but progress, trials, tribulations and successes have been documented thoroughly by the FERRANIA team over the past two plus years, and I’m not personally disappointed about this development – slide film will come, of that I am sure.
Getting a new version of a long-discontinued film on the market is no small feat, especially when you’re having to rebuild the machinery to do it. I for one will be buying up what I can once doors open for preorder in a couple of weeks. The original film stock was nothing short of legendary and I can’t wait to try it.
“Since the old Ferrania company produced a rather famous black and white motion picture film called P30 (also later in 35mm/120), we are of course interested in one day recreating that formula. But again, our priority is to first fill some other gaps in the market – most notably with color reversal films.”
I’m wondering what market/technical/financial pressures and priorities led FERRANIA to release P30 before ScotchChrome.
Manufacturing slide film is challenging, even if you have all your technical ducks in a row. If the redevelopment of P30 has been running concurrently with that of ScotchChrome, it could make sense to release P30 first from the perspective of assessing market appetite at the very least.
In addition, and probably more importantly, if the same machinery or variations therein are being used to coat and cut film the base, as well as to roll and load the film, then this film’s release may also be considered as a low-to-mid volume test for the infrastructure, its capacity and ability to deliver required volumes of saleable product.
All this is of course pure speculation and no doubt something that will keep minds whirring for long after rolls of P30 have been delivered, shot and developed.
Please have your say in the comments below.
Write for EMULSIVE
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.