ORWO – A German Firm with a Global Presence

ORWO – A German Firm with a Global Presence

The Analog Revolution Starts here! There has been some confusion of late about the ownership and nationality of the iconic German film manufacturer ORWO. Founded as a spin-off of Agfa based out of the original Agfa plant in Wolfen, which is where their name comes from ORiginal WOlfen. The plant ended up in the Soviet control zone following World War Two in 1945. Since then they have continued to be committed to the production of quality film, paper, and chemicals. In an Instagram post earlier in the month and a news article in Bild magazine indicated the company was now owned by an American firm.

Even we at Studio C-41 published an earlier version of this article that only added to the confusion, and were contacted recently by ORWO regarding that article. In response to our article ORWO clearly stated that they remained a German company. The IP and know-how of Agfa Motion Pictures and its spin-off ORWO was united under one common shareholder. This brought together IC Investments, InovisCoat, FilmoTec and a range of other companies, underneath one banner – including the US Film Studio located in Baton Rouge. In their most recent statement posted on Facebook on the 30th of March 2021 cleared up any confusion.

The vision is big – bring back high-quality analogue films – for photography and for cinema. For use in cameras, on film sets and in cinemas. For use in archiving – of data, paper and audiovisual. ORWO now demonstrably has the best film stock in the world for archiving, black and white and for sound reproduction. It is now passionately investing in R+D to bring further innovations into this important cultural space. The new German company is very active in the film space and is obsessed with improving every aspect of the film value chain. Its motto – make film, not video. Welcome to the analogue revolution.

From the Orwo statement on facebook – 30 March 2021

We at Studio C-41 apologize for the earlier version of this article and all the confusion it caused. And we are looking forward to the products that will be coming out of ORWO!

Alex Luyckx

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