Kodak Makes a Comeback with Winning Film Features at the Cannes Film Festival

Kodak Makes a Comeback with Winning Film Features at the Cannes Film Festival

Kodak made big waves at this year's Cannes Festival announcing 12 features shot on Kodak film. Including Olivier Assayas’s film "Personal Shopper" staring actress Kristen Stewart, where he took home the award for Best Director and was given lengthy five minute standing ovation. This was a huge milestone for Kodak since the rise of digital technology combined with the ability to shoot 4K footage film looked to be a medium of the past. Kodak defied the odds and not only secured film as a viable creative choice, but has rebranded themselves into a thriving film market once again.

Kodak made a big splash back into the film industry gaining awards with some serious film features all shot on Kodak 35mm. Taking home the coveted Palme d’Or was "I, Daniel Blake" by director Ken Loach (DP Robbie Ryan). The Grand Prix award was taken home by "Juste la Fin du Monde (It’s Only the End of the World)," by director Xavier Dolan (DP André Turpin). Taking home Critique awards were "Las Mimosas," shot on Kodak S16mm and directed by Olivier Laxe (DP Mauro Herce) and "Albüm," shot on Kodak 35mm by director Mehmet Can Mertoglu (DP Marius Panduru). Winning the prestigious Jury Prize was "American Honey" by director Andrea Arnold, which was partially shot on Kodak 35mm.

Kodak has been making some serious changes as of late revamping and marketing and it has been paying off. Steven Overman, President of Kodak’s Consumer and Film Division recently made a statement about the future of Kodak's stay in the film community.



Kodak’s decision over 24 months ago to double down on our support of film as a medium was one of the most prescient choices we’ve made. We’ve turned the trajectory around, in Europe alone, sales of 35mm motion picture film have doubled in 12 months.



Movie features in Cannes aren't the only ones in the industry still using film; Hateful 8, Starwars: The Force Awakens, Joy, and Jurassic World are all making Hollywood headlines for using Kodak to produce huge block buster hits. And it's not just the movie industry that can't get enough when it comes to shooting with film. The television show The Walking Dead was often shot with Super 16 and major recording artists are also migrating to the medium; Adele’s record-breaking music video for Hello and much of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade were shot on film.


Kodak plans on keeping the film industry rolling by opening a motion picture film-processing lab in New York City which will service 35mm, S16, and Super 8 film with processing and scanning. Kodak has already completed extensive upgrades back in 2015 to their Rochester location and has plans to do additional upgrades in order to meet growing demands.


Kodak also recently partnered with Kickstarter securing over 300 backers from motion picture artists, lining up to shoot projects on Kodak film at this year’s Super 8 Film Festival. In January Kodak also announced just in time for the camera's 50th anniversary the release of their new Super 8 camera with over 5,000 people signing up for pre-order. I will be sure to give more updates throughout development of this camera for all you Super 8 shooters out there!

Images used with permission of Kodak


Presley Ann's picture

Presley Ann is a NYC based fashion and celebrity photographer. She has been published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Paper, TIME OUT NY, The Daily and many other outlets with her celeb coverage. She is also known for being the creator of Polaroid Famous, specializing in unique celebrity Polaroid portraits for Interview Magazine

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"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." - Kodak

I hope my Kodak stock makes a comeback

My stock in their company. It became worthless in their bankruptcy.

Is there any advantage to using film over digital in big commercial projects, or just nostalgia, familiarity, and a desire to prop up Kodak?

The allure of digital is disappearing. The average person sees it as easily accessible. 15 years ago, clients wanted digital because they thought it was new technology. Today, it's just commonplace.

Film is often shot by amateurs in a nostalgic way because their lack of technique makes it appear "low-fi". But it can be very competitive with modern digital images if it's shot correctly, processed correctly, and then scanned and retouched in a non-destructive manner. There's a distinct possibility that people interested in pure still photography might gravitate more and more towards film in the future. Meanwhile, those interested in digital could find that they're increasingly expected to work in video, sound, and eventually go into 3d and virtual reality which is another medium altogether from still photography. Basically, I think that the future of film and digital is not to see them as competitors but rather to consider them as totally different mediums. If that turns out to be the case, then it probably won't be fair to say that one is better than the other.

just one man's opinion

The film returns.
Many photographers tired of sitting for photo editing.
What particularly in film photography, which does not exist in the digital? The answer is simple: color. And the air.
This is especially true of wedding photography. Look at the work of Jose Villa, Tec Pataja, Jen Huang, Rylee Hitchner, KT Merry, Tamra Gigola and others. Or go to popular wedding sites such as Magnoliarogue, OnceWed, Stylemepretty, Greenweddingshoes...
You will see that there are almost all the images photographed on the film. And it is very cool.
Among the wedding industry there is a very definite increase in the number of photographers who shoot on film. And perhaps this will affect the picture as a whole, and soon we will see more contemporary photographers shoot film in other genres.
(I apologize for the mistakes - I did not speak English, an interpreter translated the message through google translate :) )

And one more remark. I'll shoot on film and digital. And I can say with confidence that the staff of the digital good at 20-30%, and 70-80% of the film. You just take a film camera and automatically increases the concentration, mindfulness, analysis of light and composition. It's not magic, it's "value" of the picture. You simply shoot better. If this is not a commercial project, then I am willing to pay for it out of pocket.
Everything comes easy - has little value and we are scattered. And all that was given to work - has a "value". For this and take pictures.
It's like with the money if you won the lottery, find money on the street, or they just got you "too easy", there is no a good chance that you will be able to spend them wisely and you will appreciate every dollar. But if you have earned their "sweat and blood" - then you get the pleasure of every penny and you will know what is behind it. Easy = bad. Digital is easy. I think so.

I currently shoot a lot of Kodak 35mm stills film. Ultramax, Gold, Color, Ektar and Tri-x. Plus Ilford, AGFA, Cinestill, Fuji.