Is Kosmo Foto Mono Film Just Rebranded Foma Film?

Kosmo Foto Mono seems to be causing some confusion with folks.

Remember Kosmo Foto Mono film? They rebrand from Zorki Photo to Kosmo Foto–and so too did the film they were producing. When this new film company came to life, we reported on it and the internet cheered. But it seems as if they are somehow or another causing some controversy on the web. Admittedly, they’re a curious company producing a film in a world where film seems to be making a comeback in some ways.

Before we go on, let’s backtrack a bit. Towards the end of last year, everyone and their mother started coming out with new film emulsions. Kosmo Foto Mono, as it’s known now, was initially called Zorki Photo Mono, as Zorki Photo was the original name of Dowling’s blog. But they ran into copyright issues and so they changed their name to Kosmo. There was a rebrand to Kosmo Foto and they have since been producing films.

Phoblographer reader Joshua Fast posted the lead image of this story online in a Facebook group that has a lot of folks curious. When he peeled the label for his Kosmo Foto Mono back a bit, he uncovered that the canister is a Foma can. This got him and others curious. I mean, could this really just be a rebranded film? Blogs everywhere said that a new film had hit the web. So when you go about just reading many other blogs that tend to get this information all wrong, you start to wonder. So we reached out to the creator for some commentary. According to Stephen Dowling, the creator of Kosmo Foto Mono:

“I was always very clear that Kosmo Foto Mono was not a new emulsion – I said it was a film that I’d used for a long time and loved.

I understand people go into detective mode and want to find out what it is, and that people might think that the fact I haven’t stated explicitly what the film is means I’ve got something to hide – like that it’s expired stock, for instance. But this is new stock made by Foma – the reason why the film is currently unavailable in my shop right now is because the factory is still making the second batch. This isn’t stuff that’s been sitting in a warehouse for two years.

Whenever someone has emailed or messaged me asking directly what the film I’ve always told them.

So why buy repackaged film from Kosmo Foto? Because I’m putting my money where my mouth is and creating a new film brand. Kosmo Foto Mono, a repackaged film, is the start of things but very definitely not the end.”

In fact, he’s absolutely right. As we’ve reported a number of times, “The film is an existing emulsion made by a European film producer. It is new stock produced in 2017.” Perhaps lots of folks aren’t necessarily reading the labels or the information about the film and instead making impulse buys. And for the most part, that makes sense. But even with this clarification we know the film is being made by the Foma company. In fact, Stephen states that new batches will be coming in February/March.

Now, this isn’t as uncommon as you’d think. Lomography for example uses Kodak color film for their negative films, Fomapan for their black and whites, and a Rollei film for their slide. LomoChrome Purple is really, truly theirs though. The difference is usually a variation on the film in some way or another. Japan Camera Hunter’s Street Pan is an old surveillance film that is being given new life. CineStill is Kodak movie film with the Remjet layer removed and repackaged for 35mm and 120 usage. When you think about it like this, it all makes sense.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.