Terrible news for UK based film photographers today. The high street chain Poundland have confirmed they are no longer stocking their cheap AGFA Vista branded out of the box 35mm colour film.
The devastating news was discovered by 22 year old Scandar Silva-Payne of Bristol, UK who heard a rumour via a friend who also buys the cheap £1 a roll film so he took to Twitter to ask the firm directly.
Sadly the team behind their social media account confirmed that the Agfa Vista 35mm line had been discontinued. The language alludes to the possibility that different brands may be brought in to replace the now empty shelves.
We caught up with Scandar to ask him why it’s so important to him they don’t discontinue:
“Accessible film is disappearing, Boots is a joke charging 5-6 pounds for a roll and around the same for developing. its getting more of a struggle to find cheap film on the high street and i think that Poundland film has picked up quite a following, especially among people i know (especially skateboarders) who shoot film and wanna keep it cheap. also its actually really good film for the price, as its made by fuji film”
Scandar has wasted no time and started a Change.org petition hoping enough film photographers will sign and get Poundland to notice and reconsider. As of writing this it has received 71 signatures already and appears to be gathering pace.
We will update this post with news tomorrow.
UPDATE 13:17 December 3rd 2015:
Many Poundland stores are still holding some stock across the country, however the distribution centre is now cleared of all stock. You can contact your local Poundland store directly to check if they have any rolls of film left.
After visiting our local Poundland store and clearing their shelves of the remaining stock Phogotraphy reached out to Jane, a representative from head office for comment.
Jane tells us that her team are aware of customers concerns and are “working incredibly hard to source new stock for their loyal customers.” The problem occurred when their regular supplier increased trade prices for the film. Their intention at the moment is to replace the AGFA Vista range with a different brand by the new year.
This wouldn’t be the first time Poundland have discontinued one line for another. Back in 2010 KODAK Colorplus was the film student’s choice of film due to its low price. So a brand change isn’t unprecedented. Photographers regularly using the AGFA emulsion might end up feeling a bit miffed with a new colour balance to get used to.
The online petition started by Scandar Silva-Payne has now increased to 862 signatories. Jane referred to it and the management fully understand the importance of getting more stock in for their customers.
UPDATE 11:56 December 4th 2015:
Film photographer Ricky Murgia who shops at the “Dealz” branded Poundland stores in Ireland received a response from Lisa at head office this morning confirming the film will be brought back into stock:
We are pleased to advise that due to popular demand and through listening to our customers, we are bringing this product back into Poundland and Dealz stores. Stocks should start very soon.
However, a phonecall received by Phogotraphy this morning at 9AM from a local Poundland branch disputes this and said that the film could not be sourced at current and therefore no stocks were due in for the foreseeable future.
We shall see.