ILFORD Shares How Their Prized Black and White Films are Made

If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite 35mm and 120 ILFORD black and white films are made, the company shares it all in their recent short film.

It’s always fascinating to learn about how our favorite things and everyday tools are made. For some photographers that includes their go-to film stocks. Black and white film photographers are definitely in for a treat, as ILFORD recently shared an official peek inside the HARMAN technology factory in Mobberley, England, where the ILFORD and Kentmere product lines are made.

In the short film by Exploredinary, titled Behind the Film – Inside the ILFORD factory, we journey into various parts of the facility where the 120 and 35mm black and white films are made. We are also introduced to some of the faces behind the precious emulsions we all know and love. Each of them shares with us a little something about what they do, with many of them doing their jobs for decades. So we are sure to get products that have passed through a thorough process that has been perfected for many years.

No detail is spared in the film, as we get to watch what happens from the emulsion making, R&D, and coating to finishing, quality control, warehousing, and distribution. Previously, we had a peek from a photographer who snagged a rare chance to tour the Mobberley facility. However, this film, according to ILFORD, is the first time ILFORD is officially taking us behind the scenes in the factory to share all the meticulous work that goes into our favorite black and white emulsions and products.

It’s also worth noting that the film tells how the processes are entirely different for the 35mm and 120 films. The former houses the emulsion in cassettes, while the latter wraps the film onto a plastic core and adds a paper backing, then put it into a foil wrapper and box. Seeing each roll being brought to life and come out of the assembly line for both processes is nothing short of exciting.

Thank you ILFORD for this wonderful proof that film is very much alive, and for making sure that we get to shoot with only the best black and white films out there!


Screenshot image from the video by ILFORD Photo