Despite the charm, popularity, and renewed interest in analog photography, there has been a nagging question of where, in the future, will film come from? Kodak has exited the consumer business, leaving a very small handful of companies that still make them, and film lovers to stockpile them in their freezers before they’re no more. Well, we can rest a little easier as Lomography, a champion of film photography and lo-fi cameras, is partnering with Kodak Alaris to continue the production and sale of photographic film and paper.
As part of Kodak’s emergence from bankruptcy protection, the company reorganized its business, shedding must of its former self, including its consumer hardware and film business. The Kodak Pension Plan of the United Kingdom, however, purchased the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses, which led to a Kodak offshoot now known as Kodak Alaris. As the new owner of the film and paper business, Kodak Alaris will sell a variety of its products via Lomography’s retail and online stores.
In an open letter to Lomography fans, Kodak Alaris President Dennis Olbrich wrote, “Our products will continue to use the iconic Kodak brand and offer the same world-class quality. More importantly, we will continue to offer the full portfolio of photographic films and papers. Whether you prefer shooting on the award-winning Kodak Professional Portra films or an all time classic like the Kodak Professional Tri-X or you look forward to print your images on the unmatched Kodak Professional Endura Metallic paper – Kodak Alaris will continue to offer all you need.” Essentially, as long as Kodak Alaris sticks around, it’s going to keep film going.
Realizing that the future of film production was in peril, Lomography was already proactive in keeping it alive by manufacturing select types of film themselves. They brought back 110 film format last year, and this year it put out the LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400, which simulates the Kodak Aerochrome look. With this partnership, it might mean Lomography can pull back some of its own film manufacturing.
Check out Lomography’s Q&A with Kodak Alaris Product Marketing Director Lars Fiedler.