I started my interest in photography some forty two years ago after accidentally stumbling on to an exhibition of 100 vintage Edward Weston prints. Last year and just recently the Lowe Museum on the campus of the University of Miami (Florida) Sally Mann and now Mary Ellen Mark spoke to very large overflowing audiences where people were actually turned away. The majority of the audience were students. While not of the Weston generation they both have their most noted work on film. I think an interest in the icons of photography can be nurtured. the young photographers are growing up in an age of different technology and I think that Weston, Stieglitz, Adams and others would dabble in digital as well as maintaining their roots in film as they no doubt used the technology of their eras.
If the new generation has a chance to see actual images made by the old masters they may change their tune. One day iphone images will seem old fashioned to another generation. Perhaps someday a hacker will destroy all the digital images stored on hard-drives and film will find a place on top.
I still use film, a traditional wet darkroom and print on photographic paper and with pt/pd even went to pinhole capture recently. A gallery owner younger than my children has given me a one person show opening April 10th so all is not lost especially if some of the prints sell.