Between 2011 and 2013 the film industry in the UK rapidly converted to digital cinema. This was a decision taken for commercial reasons and was indeed an important and historic moment in the development of cinema. However, we are of the standing that digital as a medium is not a replacement for celluloid and where possible films already on celluloid should be continued to shown as such. There are plenty of arguments to support the continued running of 35mm with many of them related to aesthetics and the requirement of a projectionist to ensure faultless presentation – this however can only be achieved with well maintained equipment, screen-able prints and highly trained staff.
Celluloid in recent years has made a comeback and its value (as many things do when they diminish) has started to increase. Now going to see a film print is considered an experience and a renewed appreciation for the medium has surfaced. We are firmly of the belief that prints held in archives should continue be accessible to audiences and not be left to gather dust on shelves unseen. We encourage and fully support the continued exhibition of these prints in line with FIAF standards. We also recognise and fully support cinemas who continue to run distribution (non - archive) prints on platter systems and we pledge to offer our services where they may be required.
However, this cannot happen if equipment, skills and prints are lost to history. It is critical that we ACT now to PRESERVE this heritage for the FUTURE.