Two Prizma Color films, a curious finding in the Mexican National Film archive


  • Paolo Tosini Vulcanus Film



Prizma, Prizma Color, Color Restoration, Film, Digital Restoration, Mexico


Few years ago an important collection of silent movie was found in the National Mexican film archive. The collection did not contain any Mexican movie, unfortunately, but it was rich in coloring techniques of the silent era; two findings were particularly interesting, the first on the Apache trail (1921) in the United States and the second on the clay making in Ohio (probably ‘20). The added value of both titles is that they were shot using the Prizma Color technique, a very original  color-processing  invented  around  1913  by  William  Van  Doren  Kelley  and  Charles Raleigh. This color system was a additive color technique that eventually evolved into a bi-pack system. Even if a complete restoration it is not yet completed, the films were a particular challenge for a proper conservation and film restoration. The paper will examine the research on the film, the color process and suggest some possible restoration techniques.


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How to Cite

Tosini, P. (2022) “Two Prizma Color films, a curious finding in the Mexican National Film archive”, Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 14(01), pp. 42–46. doi: 10.23738/CCSJ.140105.



Color Photography & Film papers