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Film Revival Gets Boost with New Large Format 65mm Processing Facilities in the UK

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by:  Kodak, WATFORD, UK, Friday, November 11, 2016 Date: 12.11.2016
The revival of real film has received an additional boost with the news that large format Kodak 65mm film processing facilities have opened in the UK. Twentieth Century Fox’s "Murder On The Orient Express", directed by Kenneth Branagh, and shot by cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos BSC, will be one of the first productions to use the new installation.

In partnership with Kodak, Cinelab, based in Slough, has installed a 65mm Photomec ECN2 film processor alongside its thriving 35mm and 16mm services. The capacity to handle 65mm film processing in the UK complements the full range of large format and creative services available at Los Angeles-based post-production facility FotoKem’s renowned film laboratory.

65mm celluloid has a long and illustrious history. The format was the canvas for masterpieces such as David Lean’s multi-Oscar winning "Lawrence Of Arabia" (1962, DP Freddie Young BSC), landmark epics like William Wyler’s "Ben-Hur" (1959, Robert Surtees ASC) and showstoppers including Robert Wise’s "The Sound Of Music" (1965, DP Ted D McCord).

Now, 65mm film is enjoying a renaissance, championed by a new generation of directors and their cinematographers for its resolution, depth and true-to-life look.

Director Christopher Nolan, one of the industry’s leading champions of real film, recently shot Kodak 65mm for Warner Brothers’ dramatic WWII thriller "Dunkirk" (DP Hoyte van Hoytema FSF NSC). Also set-to-shoot on Kodak 65mm are Lucasfilm/Disney’s "Star Wars: Episode IX" (Director Colin Trevorrow, DP John Schwartzman ASC) and Disney’s "The Nutcracker And The Four Realms" (Director Lasse Hallström, DP Linus Sandgren).

“The film comeback is accelerating,” said Steven Overman, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Consumer and Film Division at Kodak, “and the epic, big screen experience is well and truly back. The creative and aesthetic distinctiveness of 65mm film is still well beyond the capability of digital capture, so when discerning filmmakers want to a create work of memorable grandeur and lasting visual quality, they know that only real film delivers.”
More in 70mm reading:

Kodak is making investments in introducing 65mm film processing in Europe

Kenneth Branagh's "HAMLET" on 65mm

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films

Internet link:


Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos BSC said, “Film has a palette like no other movie format. When Ken and I first started talking about "Murder On The Orient Express", we both just knew it was the one to put our hearts and souls into making in 65mm. It's a rare thing to be able to bring to life a great piece of literature, and we want the audience to have a truly immersive and intimate experience. Agatha Christie’s work is one of the greatest revenge stories and it has to be immensely entertaining on the big screen. We want to make a film were you feel every stab wound, and we couldn’t think of a better way than to shoot it on 65mm film.”

Adrian Bull, managing director and co-founder of Cinelab London, commented, “65mm is the Holy Grail for cinematographers, so it is really exciting to see it returning to the UK as part of a more general film renaissance. Cinelab London’s 65mm service, in partnership with Kodak, will further cater to the needs of UK and European filmmakers who have specific requirements for the larger film format.”

However, it is not only big-budget studio films that are leaning towards 65mm. Directors of independent films and premium brand advertising are enthralled by its quality too. Brady Corbet will use 65mm for his upcoming independent "Vox Lux" (starring Jude Law and Rooney Mara), whilst Xavier Dolan chose it for Adele’s “Hello” music video, plus segments of his feature "The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan". Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen also used the premium 65mm format this year to bring sensual splendour to a promotional short for luxury brand Burberry. For the giant screen experience, Greg MacGillivray deployed 15-perf 65mm in 3D IMAX cameras for "National Parks Adventure", a flagship project marking the centenary of The National Parks Service with a long-lasting record.

Shooting films on 16mm and 35mm celluloid has seen a revival worldwide – from low-budget independents to multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters. Ken Loach’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven and JJ Abrams’ successful reboot of the Star Wars franchise all used film.

Celluloid-originated productions, such as Damien Chazelle’s "La La Land", Denzel Washington’s "Fences", Jeff Nichols’ "Loving" and Martin Scorsese’s "Silence", are hotly-tipped as contenders in the 2017 awards season – as are Juho Kuosmanen’s "The Happiest Day In the Life Of Olli Maki" and Mia Hansen-Løve’s "Things To Come", in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Film was also the format of choice for episodic TV shows including HBO’s Westworld and C4/Netflix’s Crazyhead.

About Kodak

Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging. We provide – directly and through partnerships with other innovative companies – hardware, software, consumables and services to customers in graphic arts, commercial print, publishing, packaging, electronic displays, entertainment and commercial films, and consumer products markets. With our world-class R&D capabilities, innovative solutions portfolio and highly trusted brand, Kodak is helping customers around the globe to sustainably grow their own businesses and enjoy their lives.

For additional information on Kodak, visit us at kodak.com, follow us on Twitter @Kodak_ShootFilm or like us on Facebook at Kodak Motion Picture Film.
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Updated 07-01-23