President and General Manager
Entertainment and Commercial Films Group
Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company
The proliferation of independent films over the past several years has been an encouraging trend in the entertainment industry. Filmmakers who operate outside of the major Hollywood studios supply a large number of the feature film titles screened in U.S. cinemas. For movie-goers, this means a plethora of unique, compelling stories to enjoy. And as these stories reach viewers through an expanding array of platforms, there will be some amazing opportunities for exploring new content.
If you look beyond the hype, you would find many of the recently celebrated indies originated on film. Independent movies shot on film are having highly successful runs at the box-office. In 2011, the top five grossing indie films in limited release were all shot on film. Indies originating on film didn’t just make an impact at ticket counters; they earned critical praise and the industry’s top awards. You might recognize some of these titles—The Artist, Midnight in Paris, The Descendents, The Tree of Life, My Week with Marilyn, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Pariah, and the list goes on.
The 2012 crop of indies is already a promising one. We see a long list of filmmakers who believe celluloid is the best medium to bring their stories to the screen. Included on this list is Sundance-winner Beasts of the Southern Wild directed by Benh Zeitlin and photographed on Kodak Super 16 by Ben Richardson. “Nothing else at this year’s festival came close to stirring up the excitement and sense of discovery generated by Beasts,” wrote The New York Times Critic Manhola Dargis. The film releases in theaters June 29.
Opening the Cannes International Film Festival is Moonrise Kingdom, which also originated on Kodak 16mm. Directed by Wes Anderson and shot by his frequent collaborator Robert Yeoman, ASC, this quirky comedy will be on cinema screens starting May 25.
Coming off high festival acclaim, Bel Ami releases in June. Directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerodand, and visually depicted by cinematographer Stefano Falivene, the production relied on Kodak film to portray the complex emotions of this story entwined in politics, sex and the hierarchy of social classes.
Woody Allen’s next comedy of errors is To Rome With Love, opens the Los Angeles Film Festival and hits theatres in June. Darius Khondji, ASC, AFC is behind the camera again for Allen, capturing the same romanticism the duo capitalized on in the Oscar®-winning Midnight in Paris.
Keep your eyes out for the buzzed-about films The Paperboy, The Angels’ Share, People Like Us, Lovelace, On the Road, Little Birds, Oslo, Quartet, Mud, and Killing Them Softly, among others releasing in the near future.
With an estimated 500 indies being distributed a year, how does one make a movie distinguishable from the rest? Originate on film. Film captures the nuances of your incredible story like no other medium can. Film brings a sense of discipline and commitment to your set. Film delivers the arresting, captivating, distinctive visuals that your story deserves. And film will preserve your masterpiece for hundreds of years.
Kodak is a stalwart supporter of the independent filmmaker, and we see the industry entering an exciting and influential era for independent voices. While the independent filmmaking community is producing unconventional voices and unique stories, Kodak will continue to support these original filmmakers by providing the tools and support needed. No storyteller should have to compromise his or her vision.