WXXI AM News

Kodak signs deals to continue supply of motion picture film

Jan 31, 2020

Eastman Kodak has confirmed reports that it has signed new deals with five major film studios including Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Those companies have made a commitment to buy film for the foreseeable future.

Kodak has not said at this point how long those contracts are for, but did indicate this is a "long term deal."

Kodak is the last big supplier of motion picture film. Competitor Fujifilm stopped its production in 2013.

Production was in danger of being halted until 2015, when the company reached new supply agreements with the major Hollywood studios.

Word of the extension of the pacts with the Hollywood studios came this week as the fourth annual Kodak Film Awards took place on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Kodak officials say the company has seen a substantial increase in film sales each year for five consecutive years and has invested in film processing labs across the world to meet demand.

Much of Kodak’s film manufacturing takes place in Rochester at the Eastman Business Park.

“It has been a banner year for film,” says Steve Bellamy, President of Motion Picture and Entertainment, Eastman Kodak Co. “This year, movies shot on film represent five of the 10 productions nominated in the Academy’s Best Picture and Cinematography categories, and a total of 37 Oscar® nominations. This is a great testament to the intrinsic value of film to the motion picture arts. We are excited to celebrate these extraordinary filmmakers at the Kodak Film Awards this year.”

As a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter noted, some well-known directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and J.J.Abrams have been proponents of using film, even as digital technology increasingly gained a foothold in the movie industry.

Academy Award contenders shot on film last year include, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story, The Irishman (which also used digital technology), Little Women, The Lighthouse and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Film is no longer the majority of Kodak's overall revenue picture, as the company has focused on commercial printing and packaging in recent years.