A NEW documentary film exploring how Scotch whisky became a world player in the spirit industry is to premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival.
Scotch: The Golden Dram, a revealing feature documentary, journeys to the Scottish countryside to uncover the history of the craft and to meet some of the biggest names in the whisky industry.
Shot entirely on location the doucmentary tells the story of uisge-beatha, Gaelic for ‘water of life’, which is enjoyed in more than 200 countries, generating over $6 billion in exports each year.
The film charts the Cinderella tale of legendary master distiller Jim McEwan, a veteran with over 50 years standing in the industry, who takes on a dilapidated distillery on his home island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides and turns it into an award-winning blend.
Some of the other whisky enthusiasts featured include Richard Paterson, a master blender whose nose was insured for $2.5 million, as well as biochemist whisky-maker Dr Bill Lumsden, and master distiller Ian MacMillan.
The film marks director-producer Andrew Peat’s feature-length documentary debut, a passion project for the American filmmaker who studied at St Andrew’s University in Scotland.
Andrew said: “I am absolutely delighted to bring our film to UK and Irish audiences. The heart of our film is the characters, the men and women who produce Scotch whisky, from the barley farmers to the bottle makers.
“And you can literally see the passion and joy and pride they have in their work and this world-renowned product. They share their amazing stories, and some very humorous anecdotes.
“It’s a very educational film -you learn the entire process of whisky making – but at the same time it’s a film of the heart. You will laugh and possibly cry by the time the credits roll.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of Visit Scotland, added: “Scotch whisky is a culinary and cultural icon and one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities.
“Visitors from across the globe come to our shores to experience an authentic Scottish dram, with one in five making a trip to a whisky distillery while here.
“We’re delighted that the love and craft which goes into our national drink forms the basis of Scotch: The Golden Dram.
“Combine that with the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscapes which shape the “water of life” and you have a film which we hope will leave viewers thirsty for more about Scotland.”
Scotch: The Golden Dram is on general release from March 8 and will be screening at Glasgow Film Festival at Glasgow Film Theatre on 1 March, and will include a Q&A.