A crowdfunding campaign has been launched for a colour negative film by the company behind Finland’s Camera Rescue.
The campaign’s launch page said: “The Analogue Community is struggling with the lack of colour film, but Santa has found a source of film freshly manufactured in the USA. We already have a history of bringing out films that weren’t previously available, but now we want to do it with SantaColor 100 – a C-41-process, 100-ISO colour negative film.
“However, the elves will need your help as the minimum order of this colour film material make up about 15,000 rolls of 35mm film.”
The lack of colour film in the market, caused both by supply problems during the Covid pandemic and recent resurgence in the film market, was the impetus to launch the project.
“We already have a history of bringing film that was not previously available to the masses, to the market, through our successful launches of Santa Rae 1000 and later Santa Rae 125. These have been discontinued for geopolitical reasons, but Santa is now more than ready to bring a new film to the market – and this time a colour film.
“This colour film, that we are calling SantaColor 100, while not a new stock, is one that has not been available to the wider, international analogue stills photography market before. It is a well-known air surveillance film made by a major manufacturer in the USA. It has been available in small batches from certain labs in certain countries, but is no longer available to the international market as far as we are aware.”
The film is being offered in packs of five and 10, with prices as low as €9 a roll (£7.65/$9.60) – which the campaign team said will be about 30% less than the film’s retail price. The funding tiers include a €4,000 professional pack, presumably for retailers. According to the campaign page, the film will ship in December 2022. The campaign runs until 8 July.
It’s thought the film was in the past available via Russia’s Silberra (as its Color 100 and Color 160 film) and via Ukraine’s Astrum. Both film producers have been massively impacted by Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
The SantaColor 100 campaign founders say the film is factory fresh and is nominally rated at ISO 100, but that it can be pushed up to ISO 800, with pushed rolls showing more contrast. A number of example pictures have been released, some of which are included in below:
They said there were three main reasons why the stock had not been widely available before.
“Firstly, the film is not handled by most canister-spooling machines because of the thinner than normal base. This means that it has to be spooled by hand, and most places are not able or willing to do this – usually for economic reasons. Compared to the amount of work this project is, we are not making much profit at all.
“Secondly, the minimum order is about 15,000 rolls. This is much more money than most small companies are willing to put down for an unknown film that then requires a lot of work to resell.
“Finally, and most importantly, until last year, you could buy cheaper colour films than even the material cost of SantaColor 100. Prices of cheaper films like Kodak Gold 200 and Fujifilm C200 used to be so cheap that there would be no demand for an unknown film from a small brand that costs between 10 and 15€. This is no longer the case, and it therefore now makes sense to make this film available.”
Further details on the campaign page showed that the film, if funded, would be loaded into recycled cassettes gathered from film processing labs.
The campaign page has published a breakdown of the costs involved in getting the project fully funded, but has added that no funds will be used if the project does not meet its target.
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