Eastman Kodak will continue to manufacture film as long as there is demand for it, the company’s executive chairman said on a conference call to shareholders this week.
As reported by Kosmo Foto, Eastman Kodak’s CEO Jim Continenza reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the analog format.
“We recently renewed our supply agreement for film with our long-term customer, Kodak Alaris in a deal that will run through 2028. We are committed to manufacturing film as long as there is demand from the filmmakers and photographers worldwide,” Continenza says.
“In addition, we continue to see growing demand in our still and motion picture film business. A great example of the ongoing relevance of film as an artistic medium is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer,’ which was shot on Kodak large-format film, including both color film and a 65mm black-and-white film created by Kodak.”
Of note, the United Kingdom’s Pension Protection Fund was seeking a buyer for Kodak Alaris — earlier this year. It does not appear as though one has been found. Still, that doesn’t appear to be affecting Eastman Kodak’s plans and the reference to Oppenheimer is perhaps the biggest bit of publicity the brand has experienced in several years.
As PetaPixel reported in July, Kodak specifically manufactured the black and white 70mm film for Christopher Nolans blockbuster biopic to be used with IMAX and Panavision System film cameras. Just one film reel weighs 600 pounds and is more than 11 miles long.
Eastman Kodak’s affirmation isn’t just in the production of high-end film, though. The company will also continue to manufacture consumer-facing film as well, as long as demand remains high. Considering that analog photography has experienced a resurgent popularity and Kodak needed to hire more technicians in order to keep up, that demand doesn’t seem to be waning.
Hearing that Eastman Kodak is going to continue to support a thriving business might seem like a “duh” statement, but business doesn’t necessarily respond to popularity with continued financial support. Businesses regularly pull the plug on segments where there is still demand — just look at how Amazon treated DPReview. Even in Kodak’s exact same business, there are doubts. Fujifilm has been discontinuing film stocks for years now, following a vision from its CEO who would rather place emphasis on pharmaceuticals.
“Health care and semiconductor materials will be our future earnings drivers,” Teiichi Goto, Fujifilm’s CEO, said in 2021 after the company closed four United States-based photography equipment plants.