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