- Ron Perelman & Ken Biggins / Deluxe
- United Kingdom
The petition was submitted, with over 5000 signatures and counting, to Deluxe management on 8 March. On Friday 11 March, Deluxe Soho confirmed that it will no longer be offering a 16mm print service (although neg processing will continue). This is a very sad decision, particularly for those at Deluxe Soho who will lose their jobs as a consequence.
We hope that the scale of demand which clearly still exists for 16mm print will encourage other labs and interested institutions to step into the breach. While the campaign to save the service at Deluxe is now over, hopefully the critical mass which it built up can be a first step towards establishing an alternative.
Soho Film Lab is the last commercial lab to print 16mm film in the UK.
It has recently been taken over by the US Company Deluxe, who have decided, as part of their worldwide policy, that 16mm is no longer a commercial priority and therefore to stop printing it with immediate effect.
Soho Film Lab, now named Deluxe Soho, has been told to take no new orders.
This is devastating news for many artists and filmmakers who continue to work with 16mm print, and to the museums, distributors and institutions fighting to preserve and raise the already fragile visibility of the most significant art form of the 20th century.
16mm continues to be an important medium for artists and filmmakers in the UK and worldwide and is frequently on show in major museums, galleries and festivals here and abroad. Works on film are also an important part of many international collections. There has also been a huge revival of interest in 16mm within the visual arts in the last 10 years by a new generation of artists and this renewed use of 16mm continues to expand significantly.
There is a constant demand for 16mm prints in Soho Film Lab. Contrary to what is imagined, 16mm print is still a small but viable market.
There is a cultural separation between art and the cinema industry that runs the labs. Cinema sees only digital as the future, but within art, both are important.
The complete disappearance of 16mm print production facilities in the UK represents a scandalous cultural loss both in the UK and abroad.