Ferrania has been making both still and motion picture film since 1923 in the northwest Liguria region of Italy. Ferrania made very popular 35mm and 120 consumer films, as well as inexpensive cameras that were as popular in Italy as Kodak was in the US during the same time. But the Ferrania brand was most associated with cinema. Fellini was a big customer. So were De Sica and Antonioni. In fact, the vast majority of classic Italian movies released between 1923 and 1965 were shot on Ferrania stock.
Between 1964 and 1999, Ferrania was owned by The 3M Corporation and sold films under various brand names. After 3M’s exit, Ferrania soldiered onward until finally turning off the machines and locking the doors in 2010.
In 2013, the photographic film production line was acquired by the new company FILM Ferrania s.r.l. which took over some of Ferrania’s manufacturing equipment and buildings, as well as a number of those Ferrania technicians laid off in 2012. FILM Ferrania inherited the historic brand Ferrania to launch analog products suitable for the actual needs of the cine/photo market. In 2013, FILM Ferrania announced an intention to produce new versions of the historic Solaris FG-100 Plus color negative film and Scotch Chrome 100 color slide film in a variety of formats, with a potential emphasis on cine film. In an interview, Nicola Baldini, chief of the new company, stated his intention of also bringing back black-and-white films, especially the historical Ferrania P30.
On November 19, 2013 Film Ferrania presented the main core of production and R&D, formed by eight people with years of experience in the field, who are listed by their names, biography, and photos, on the company’s website. On September 2014, Film Ferrania, after an online survey, announced a crowdfounding on the platform Kickstarter to obtain $250,000 from the founders to buy some machines from the old plant of Ferrania. On October 29, 2014 Film Ferrania terminated the fundraising campaign reaching $322,420 (128% of the original target), and announced that as a prize for the donations, they will send films of the first batch of 35mm, 120, super8 and 16mm test rolls based on the original Scotch Chrome 100.
However, Film Ferrania suffered numerous production delays due to asbestos discoveries, and numerous infrastructural issues. In late 2015, FILM Ferrania CEO Baldini told German magazine Cine 8-16 that the new time schedule was to start the first test batch to send to donators by spring 2016, which will include a line of color reversal films based on ScotchChrome in the ISO speeds and color balances of 64D, 100D, 200D, 400D, 640T, and 800/3200T, in the formats of 135 and 120 for still photography, as well as Super8 and 16mm. Later, a negative line based on the Solaris stock will follow in speeds of 100, 200 and 400 ISO.
On February 1, 2017 FILM Ferrania presented a new black and white film – P30 Alpha. It is a panchromatic, 80 ASA speed film with a very high silver content, based on the old formula used to produce cinematographic films.Although the first film produced by FILM Ferrania was supposed to be a color reversal film, the company decided to produce a test batch of black and white film to test the restored machines used to produce the film. After seeing the results from the test batch company owners decided to release the P30 as an alpha version, to be improved upon based on user feedback.