As you know, the great Lenin bequeathed that “while the people are illiterate, the main art for us is the circus and cinema”. However, until the early 1930s, all films in the USSR were made using foreign film. But over time, it becomes clear that the further development of cinema requires its own film production.
On October 1st, 1931, the first film factory began its work. It was built in the Ukrainian city of Shostka, Sumy region. The work proceeded at a rapid pace. And very soon the first samples of domestic film were produced. In the beginning, it was only positive film, used only for replicating filmed films. But rather quickly, they managed to establish the production of negative film, which was already suitable for shooting. In 1938, the film "The Great Citizen" directed by Friedrich Ermler was released - for the first time completely filmed using only domestic film.
The enterprise was included in the list of strategic objects. Production volumes are growing rapidly. Over time, the production of tapes, films for x-rays, various composite materials based on adhesive tapes, dyes and other chemical products begins to be produced - the number of items is in the hundreds. With the use of the main products of the enterprise, many truly legendary things were filmed and recorded. The USSR not only stops buying film, but also begins to export it.
Name "Svema" first appears in 1975. It was formed from the merger of the phrase "photosensitive materials".
The collapse of the Soviet Union hit the company hard. At first, he still managed to stay afloat - in 1994 it was still profitable. However, already in 1995, Svema became unprofitable for the first time. The market was flooded with foreign-made products, cheaper and, for the most part, of better quality.
Now "Svema" is a state-owned enterprise. Most of its shares belong to the government of Ukraine.
The current situation is not happy at all. The equipment of the enterprise is completely outdated. Magnetic film and motion picture film are becoming a thing of the past. There is no money to transform production. And although ideas appeared several times to save the sinking enterprise (for example, leasing factory and warehouse premises to third-party manufacturers of various products), they did not bring the expected result. Since 2004, Svema has been in the process of reorganization*. However, third-party investors are in no hurry to invest any significant amount. There is an opinion that the enterprise is living its last days.
*) Reorganization refers to a variety of measures used to save an enterprise from bankruptcy. This may be a reorganization, staff reduction, liquidation of unprofitable divisions, etc.