A brand new ISO 400 speed colour slide film, FuguFilm 400, is set to debut later in 2022 according to an online post by one of its co-developers.

Bellamy Hunt (aka Japan Camera Hunter) revealed news of the development of the 400 speed slide film on his website and added that the project has been worked on without any crowdfunding.

The news comes in the same week that Kodak Moments revealed Kodak GOLD 200 was making a comeback in 120 format and CineStill unveiled 400Dynamic colour negative film 35mm and 120 formats.

Hunt explained, ‘Since 2019, Horatio Tan at Street Silhouettes and I have been working together to bring to reality a new ISO 400 positive film and we feel there is no time like the present to let people know what we have been doing.’

FuguFilm 400, which will be developed via the E-6 process, will become the second film stock launched by Japan Camera Hunter.

In 2016, the brand unveiled JCH Street Pan 400, a black & white 35mm film manufactured in Belgium.

Then, in 2017, JCH added 120 format Street Pan 400.

Bellamy Hunt, aka Japan camera Hunter

Bellamy Hunt, aka Japan camera Hunter

Hunt added, ‘We went through many test versions trying to get the right balance, the right saturation and the right ISO. Many of the chemicals that were used in the earlier slide films are simply banned by many regions, so changes have had to be made to adapt to a different supply chain and environment. The film is nearing its last test iteration and will be ready for sale (barring any more worldwide shutdowns) in the near future. This isn’t something that might be happening, it is happening, and soon.’

Why call it FuguFilm?

As to the naming of the film, Hunt revealed, ‘It started as a joke. A discussion of gaijin in Japan led to Homer Simpson eating Fugu. At the moment, we just thought it apt to call it FuguFilm, because we wanted it to be fun. But, like the fugu fish, we are deadly serious about this.’

The makers of FuguFilm 400 state they believes it is, ‘the first completely new reversal film emulsion in nearly two decades’, since the launch of Fuji Fortia in 2005.

Hunt explained, ‘The film has been conceived and made completely from scratch, and has taken a great deal of time to reach a level we are happy with. This was certainly hampered by Covid, which ended our plans for a release in late 2020, and mid-2021. This is not an old storage roll pulled from the fabled Fuji freezer, or expired film, this is a completely new emulsion from the ground up and it has taken a huge amount of work and money to get it to this stage.’

FuguFilm 400's packaging was designed by Michael Nguyen

FuguFilm 400’s packaging was designed by Michael Nguyen

Why make a slide film?

Hunt and Tan said they decided they wanted to make a slide film, ‘since we believe better results are easier to get when digitising colour positive film than digitising colour negative film. You only need a digital camera to digitise film. With colour negatives, you need a scanner (made to digitise positives) and a method of inverting the colour to convert the negative to a positive. It’s one less step and also does away with the explicit need for dedicated software to perform the inversion.’

Hunt added, ‘FuguFilm is a labour of love and passion for film photography. As people who truly believe in film, we believe we have a duty to do this to help secure the future of film photography. Added to this, there is a complete lack of high-speed slide films since Fuji cut the Provia 400x line in 2013.’

Apparently FuguFilm will be ‘ready when it is ready’, but it will be out during 2022.

Also, it will be ‘sold at a price that is competitive and available in all major retailers.’

Find out more…

FuguFilm 400 is in the final stages of Beta testing and those behind it said, ‘As more information becomes available there will be updates on FuguFilm’s social media.’ 

To discover more, and view some of the test shoots with FuguFilm 400, just go to the Japan Camera Hunter website.

Related articles:

Kodak GOLD 200 makes comeback in 120 format

CineStill reveals 400Dynamic film in 35mm and 120 formats

Ilford Film: over 130 years of film photography

Dan Rubin: film photography and scanning tips