Academic Film Archive (AFANA)

What is 16mm?

16mm film was released by Eastman Kodak in 1923 alongside a new Cine-Kodak camera as an economical alternative to the pervasive 35mm format. Aside from its lower price point, 16mm appealed to amateurs and professionals alike because its smaller gauge size made the camera and reels easier to transport. 16mm film was also one of the first stocks to be produced using acetate (aka "safety film") rather than nitrate which made it less prone to combustion. These differences made 16mm more versatile and accessible than previous widely-available film gauges. 

George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman-Kodak Company, advocated for 16mm's use in education from the outset, and he created Eastman Teaching Films--a production company devoted to educational films--in 1928.   

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