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ORWO website banner (Pic: ORWO)
ORWO launched the NC500 film in May, but production has been delayed (Pic: ORWO)

German film brand ORWO has teased the release of a “new colour tungsten cine film” amid the delays to its much-anticipated NC500 colour negative film.

In a news post on the official Orwo.wtf site, the film brand shed light on continuing delays with the release of NC500, the new first colour film to be released by the former East German brand since its NC films in the 1990s.

Announced earlier this year, NC500 is said to be based off an Agfa colour cinema film, XT320, used in movies such as ‘Out of Africa’, ‘Last of the Mohicans’ and ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.

Alongside the updates, ORWO has for the first time mentioned the production of a colour tungsten-balanced cine film, which it says will start production at its German plant next week.

The post said: “We are extremely excited to announce that next week (26 September), we are entering the production of our brand new tungsten colour cine film, at our facility in Germany. This stock will be made available for photo as well as motion picture. We can’t wait to share more details with you! Early tests look fantastic!”

No further information about the new film – such as speed or format, has been given. An ORWO spokesman told Kosmo Foto that the tungsten emulsion was a “brand new film”.

Portrait of young man with coloured background (Pic: Courtesy ORWO)
The NC500 film is said to be based on an Agfa cinema emulsion (Pic: Courtesy ORWO)

ORWO has been relaunched since the merging of its parent company FilmoTec with fellow German photochemical company InovisCoat earlier this year. Aswell as the original plant in Wolfen – home to the first pre-World War II Agfa plant – the company also has a coating facility at Monheim am Rhein and claims to have another production facility in Shanghai in China.

Regarding the delays to NC500 – and a host of other black-and-white ORWO films – it said: “We have been working with our Shanghai facility over the last months to complete the confectioning of the 36 EXP, DX-coded steel canisters. There has been much back and forth due to shipping, logistics, and the country’s dynamic zero-Covid policy. However, after our latest meeting, we are expecting a new delivery date of November.

“Due to these unacceptable continuous delays, we are also exploring the possibility of confectioning with two local vendors, to keep the whole manufacturing chain inside of Europe.”

The post also said ORWO was “actively working on the design of a brand new cartridging machine to be installed at our plant in Wolfen, Germany”, meaning it would be able to carry out the entire film finishing process in house.

ORWO said it had sent out samples of the new film to selected photographers in the last few weeks. The spokesman told Kosmo Foto that it would be “released in 16mm & 35mm very soon” The added: “Our team is finalising the last details as we speak. We are hoping to get the prices locked in and published within the next week.”

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Stephen Dowling
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