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ORWO NP-20 film on paper (Pic: Peter Shaman/Wikimedia Commons)
ORWO films such as NP-20 were popular during the Cold War (Pic: Peter Shaman/Wikimedia Commons)

German film brand ORWO will be releasing two new films in 2022, it confirmed on Thursday (3 February).

The two films include the colour ECN-2 cinema film which it teased last year, as well as a new 100-ISO black-and-white film.

ORWO had also mentioned the release of another black-and-white film in 2021 but had not gone into detail.

The new colour film, ORWO said, will be released in July and the black-and-white film will be out in April.

ORWO’s announcement on its social media channels follows reports that the brand’s parent company, which involves a merger of German film companies, FilmoTec and InovisCoat, was in danger of going into insolvency.

The full statement reads: “It has come to our attention that discussions have started to spread across forums regarding the insolvency of Seal 1818 GmbH, FilmoTec GmbH and InovisCoat GmbH.

“We would like to allay any concerns and stop any rumours.

“Today, the courts have officially agreed our plans for an organised management financial restructuring, something that has been months in the planning and that we have committed a large investment to support.

“We decided to do this so that we can quickly and successfully introduce new working practices, customers and products; which would have been challenging or impossible, due to legacy issues and agreements, that prevented the company from trading the way it needed to (including working with our own ORWO name and Logo, as well as releasing our full range of products under our brand).

“We have recently teased the release of new film stocks and we can now confirm that our new colour cine film will be released in July, with our new black-and-white 100-ASA film coming before that – with shipping expected in April. More information on each of the stocks and how to pre-order will be coming very soon.

“This is a brand-new and incredibly exciting chapter in ORWO’s rich history, and we are so excited to develop the company and brand that we are all so passionate about. Welcome to the analogue revolution.”

ORWO was once one of the most important film makers in the Soviet-aligned Eastern Block during the Cold War, making film in the original Agfa plant at Wolfen in East Germany. Its films, including Orwochrome colour slides, were widely exported to the West and aimed at budget-conscious photographers.

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Stephen Dowling
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Bill Smith
3 months ago

The big quesion I have, what does this mean for UN54, is it still being made? I love shooting with that film.