Fujifilm has admitted it mothballed its film production facility in Japan last year as the coronavirus pandemic hit, but that it was still committed to producing film.
The admission came during an industry event run by photographic distributor Tetenal UK last week, reported on by 35mmc.
Fujifilm UK’s sales manager Mark Reynolds responded to concerns that much of the Fujifilm films recently imported to the UK had been short-dated. According to 35mmc, Reynolds said film production had been mothballed at the beginning of the pandemic but that he was “100% confident” that it did not mean the end of Fujifilm film production.
There was also admission that the company could reintroduce previously discontinued emulsions such as Pro 400H, which was axed earlier this year.
The 35mmc article said: “He [Reynolds] pointed out that in the first six months of this financial year, Fuji had supplied nearly as much film to the UK as they had done in the whole year previous. This sort of data is apparently not something Fuji HQ ignore.”
Reynolds did not say if the film production plant had restarted since its pause.
Fujifilm’s commitment to its film portfolio has been regularly questioned over recent years, as the Japanese film giant has reduced its roster of available films, including much-loved emulsions such as Pro 400H, Velvia 50 and Neopan 400 and 1600.
There has been consistent speculation – not backed up by any official statement from the film producer – that it has already exited film production to concentrate on other business lines, such as pharmaceuticals and medical products.
Reynolds’ statements were followed by a statement from Fujifilm Japan, which read: “Fujifilm is committed to imaging, committed to innovation and will continue to sell film into the future to preserve the photographic industry as Fujifilm.
“We cannot guarantee and disclose what type and format of films we can put into the market because that depends on what the realistic economic demand is and following our company policy, but we remain committed to film, and photographic paper printing, not just for film, but also digital input.
“Fujifilm will continue to serve our loyal photo film customers to enrich their photography life.”
More detail can be found in 35mmc’s article.