The ‘little apparatus’: 100 years of 9.5mm film

deadline for submissions: 
October 17, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Centre For International Film Research at the University of Southampton


The ‘little apparatus’: 100 years of 9.5mm film

16, 17, 18 June 2022

University of Southampton

An international conference hosted in person and online by the Department of Film Studies’  ‘Centre For International Film Research’ at the University of Southampton.

December 1922 will mark the centenary of the introduction of 9.5mm film to the French cinematographic market.  Pathé Freres first launched their ‘Pathé Baby’ home cinema system on domestic territory in time for the Christmas season, with the promise of a soon to follow lightweight and modestly priced cine-camera using the same narrow gauge, that could fit in a vest pocket (1923, pp. 48–50). In time, the new gauge became available elsewhere -arriving just ahead of Kodak’s 16mm film/cinema system and together signalling the first major boom in amateur filmmaking.

This event aims to reflect on the diverse use of 9.5mm film throughout its 100 year history and create space for scholars, archivists and curators to explore and share new research in the field while opening up new avenues for inquiry.

Hosted by the University of Southampton this international conference will accommodate a dual approach - in-person and online for contributions exploring/considering the global reach of 9.5mm film culture. International speakers are encouraged and our proposed format will allow for virtual attendance via live streamed sessions or recorded content.


The conference organisers are delighted to confirm keynote addresses by Dr Ryan Shand (Ravensbourne University London) and Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (University of Cambridge).

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers and for 1hr 30min conference panels, from scholars, archivists, and curators around the world at any stage in their academic careers. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary submissions and encourage papers and contributions across the wide use and application of 9.5mm film in the last 100 years.

We would also like to invite regional, national and international archives to present curated packages of film as well as presentations on 9.5mm collections and filmmakers within their holdings. The organisers welcome papers on topics including, but not limited to:

  • 9.5mm as an amateur gauge
  • Professional/Avant Garde/artists’ filmmaking using 9.5mm
  • ‘Cult’ 9.5
  • 9.5mm and the democratisation of filmmaking
  • 9.5mm and challenges of representation and diversity in amateur film collections
  • The archival challenge/digitisation agendas/funding/historiography
  • Curating amateur film gauges, especially 9.5mm
  • 9.5mm and global experience of amateur technologies
  • 9.5mm and ‘The Cinema In Your Home’
  • 9.5mm and colour film

Abstracts of maximum 250 words and bios of maximum 75 words should be submitted via the Google Form on the conference website (Conference Website) by 17:00 (GMT) on 17 October 2021, with decisions expected in early December 2021.

Submissions must include the presenters’ full name, institutional affiliations and the preferred method of attendance (in person or online).  

Conference Website

Conference date: 16, 17, 18 June 2022

Deadline for proposals: 17 October 2021

Please submit proposals via the Google Form on the conference website Conference Website  

If you have any questions please do get in touch by email:



Anonymous (1923) ‘Cinematography’, The British Journal of Photography, 70(3273), pp. 48–50.

‘the little apparatus’  Clerc, L. P. (1924) ‘New Apparatus’, The British Journal of Photography, 71(3325), pp. 52–53.

Image credit: Illustration from the cover of 'Instructions on using The Baby Cine Camera' 1925