ORWO Film, sold exclusively in North America through ORWO North America, documents and preserves art, culture and history. Our truest intentions are to support the film world, cinematography, sound recording, archival industry, photographic industry, and lab/processing industry, by supplying the highest quality product available, at affordable prices.
ORWO North America is the exclusive North American representative of ORWO FilmoTec GmbH. ORWO North America is owned and operated by Campbell Representation Inc.
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ORWO's History: ORWO, derived from “ORiginal WOlfen” and founded in Wolfen Germany as an off-shoot of the AGFA film company is steeped in history and abound in legend.
The cradle of ORWO was the Agfa Wolfen plant, where the first modern color film with incorporated color couplers, Agfacolor, was developed in 1936.
On 20 April 1945, the end of World War II, the Agfa plant was taken over by US forces and important patents and other documents regarding the Agfacolor process were confiscated and handed over to Western competitors, such as Kodak and Ilford. As the plant was located in what was to become the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, the US forces then handed it over to Soviet Military Administration, which dismantled large parts of the plant and moved it, with key German staff, to Soviet Union, where it formed the basis for the Soviet color film industry.
In 1953 the plant became the property of East Germany, and in a trade agreement settlement, the East German company, VEB Film- und Chemiefaserwerk Agfa Wolfen, was given the right to sell its products under the Agfa brand in Eastern Europe, while the newly re-established Agfa in West German Leverkusen had the right to the name in the rest of the world.
As the trade agreement seriously hampered the East German company's abilities to sell in the West, the ORWO trademark (for Original Wolfen) was introduced in 1964. ORWO branded 35mm color slide film became available in the United Kingdom in the 1970s through magazine advertisements for mail order suppliers. It was a cheaper alternative to the mainstream brands available at the time.
Following the merger of East Germany and West Germany, the company was privatized in 1990. However, ORWO became a casualty of the re-unification of Germany, when the controlling German State Trust liquidated the operation.
In 1998 FilmoTec GmbH revived the ORWO brand and its legendary film product. Today FilmoTec continues to manufacture a reduced range of former ORWO products, specializing in cine film, upholding an almost forgotten film pedigree and manufacturing high-performance film for the professional film market in an original ORWO film factory, in Wolfen Germany.
Thank you FilmoTec GmbH (www.filmotec.de) and Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORWO) for supplying such interesting detail.