Odd...it certainly looks like processed B&W film. But nitrate film would be highly inflammable (not the relatively gentle flame) and modern film doesn't really burn well enough to sustain much of a continuous and steady flame.
It doesn't appear to be in the torch, if you look at the picture it's in the vessel containing the fire than the torch is being lit from. Perhaps it's a negative of something being burnt as an offering?
About what I expect from gizmodo, who apparently aren't aware that nitrate film stock has been gone for half a century or so.
The torch she is placing in the silver reflector also has a loop of the "suspect film" on the end. When the flame first ignites you can almost make out what appears to be picture frames on the film just before it burns up. I'm gonna guess that the film is used just to guarantee the ignition the fuel in the torch wick.
Maybe they have some old nitrate base film. But that goes up pretty fast...
Noticed that the second runner with the torch for got the olive branch.
It's film - which is highly flammable, especially in concentrated sunlight (which the parabolic mirror provides).
Bizarre. Nearly as bizarre as the gizmodo commenters.
Certainly looks like film though, with B&W images on it.