Film collection sets Guinness record

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 July, 2012, 12:00am


A Guinness world record for the biggest collection of photographic film has been set by a Hong Kong woman with a passion for promoting traditional cameras in the digital age.

Cecilia Chow Ying-nga has 1,250 different analogue films from over 30 countries, including more than 100 different brands. That won her a Guinness certificate on June 30, which she displayed to the press yesterday in Tsim Sha Tsui at an exhibition of her collection.

The show, at the K11 shopping centre, features more than 80 years of analogue photography - going back to a roll of Kodak film made in 1926 - and continues until August 31. 'My purpose is to show that there is still film available in the world,' said Chow, 33. She gave up her job as an accountant four years ago to open a shop, FilMe in Causeway Bay, devoted solely to the sale of analogue cameras, film and accessories.

'Everyone wants to enhance digital technology, make it more convenient ... but film is the core of photography,' she said. 'Film should have status.'

Chow hopes her world record will stir up more interest in the analogue photography industry, which has been eclipsed by digital technology.

A few companies still make camera film, including Fujifilm and Ilford, but many have stopped production. Kodak's bankruptcy at the beginning of this year was seen as the end of the analogue era by lovers of old-style prints, although Kodak still makes some films.

FilMe has customers from all over the world, but Chow said it was often a struggle to find the rent. She works as a freelance accountant to bolster her income. 'The film business is not that profitable,' she said. 'It is a dream for me - something I have to battle for.'

Chow's passion for film photography was sparked just four years ago when she was entranced by an image captured through a balloon of a little boy running towards the sea. The limits of a roll of film, unlike a memory card, forced photographers to think harder and treasure every shot, she said.