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Funding package to put Glasgow film start-up on big screen

28 July 2016

A Glasgow-based technology company, aiming to become the world leader in the digitisation of film, is poised to open a major new studio in the city after securing £400,000 of new funding.

The deal will enable iMetaFilm, founded by husband-and-wife team Michael and Linda Howell, to take a major step forward in fulfilling its ambition to preserve cinematic history and in establishing a new global hub for film digitisation in the UK.

The company will also increase its headcount within a new custom-designed studio in Glasgow city centre, with state-of-the art technology; enabling simpler and less labour-intensive digitisation processes, with higher quality scanning.

Michael Howell, co-founder of iMetaFilm, said: “Every day we are losing film footage of enormous historical and cultural importance. This latest round of funding will enable us to use our technology to preserve this invaluable content so it can be used across a whole range of areas, whether that’s for social, educational or commercial purposes.”

With its proprietary technology, iMetaFilm has created a new film-archiving process involving a ‘MetaScanner’1and software that precisely assembles the moving image making it searchable, accessible and shareable online.

The company has already secured an impressive list of clients, including the University of Edinburgh – where it is working with the main library to digitise its archive – and the Library of Congress in the US, home of the largest film archive in the world.

The latest £400,000 injection is the second round of funding from existing investors Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. In February last year, the two organisations provided an initial £217,000 of funding.

Angus Hay, Investment Director at Kelvin Capital, commented: “iMetaFilm has made technical advances never previously seen. Not only has it managed to digitise reels that were so fragile and precious, due to the passage of time, and bring previously forgotten footage back to life; but it has developed a process to recover the audio that would have been lost forever. Our investors were not only impressed with the iMetaFilm team, but are very excited about the possibilities for this technology and the applications worldwide. We are delighted to be a part of this exciting Scottish business.”

Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, added: “iMetaFilm is a great example of the growing, innovative companies that Scottish Enterprise is keen to support. We look forward to continuing to work with iMetaFilm as it develops its business and workforce, helping the company to achieve its ambition to be a global force in archive film digitisation.”

The growth of iMetaFilm comes at a pivotal time for the Scottish film industry. Earlier this year the Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, announced private sector plans to significantly enhance TV and film studio facilities at Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld, creating new permanent production facilities in Scotland.

The company is now hoping to work with major organisations involved in film and broadcasting to realise the potential of digitising film archives for all to see.
Michael Howell explained: “If Scotland really wants to preserve its sense of self and identity through film, then we need the big players on board. We need to delve deeply into the archives at the National Library of Scotland, our universities, and the main broadcasters including the BBC. Only then can we fully appreciate, understand and showcase what it means to be Scottish to the wider world.

“But our ambitions go far beyond Scotland. With over 50 million film reels in existence globally, there are numerous possibilities for us to partner with organisations who have yet to tap into the potential of their own film archives.”

Ends//

Notes to Editors
Issued on behalf of iMetaFilm by The BIG Partnership. For further information please contact Mike Findlay on 0141 333 9585 or .

1. About MetaScanners
The MetaScanner is a uniquely designed 4k or 6k scanner which is exceptionally film friendly and precise. The MetaScanner is fast, and is suitable for a wide range of film gauges, including 8, 16 and 35mm film.

2. About iMetaFilm
iMetaFilm is set to revolutionise the film archive industry with its unique take on digitisation, storage and distribution. This will not only change the way we rediscover degrading or ‘lost’ footage, but will allow us to enhance its quality, preserve its content, and share it forever.

iMetaFilm has created a film archiving process that is fast, cost effective and ultimately future proof, making the unseen available to all, and for future generations to experience and share.

Based in Scotland and with global ambitions, iMetaFilm is run by husband and wife team Michael and Linda Howell.

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