Wine merchant Mark Reynier enters a whisky raffle only to be polite… and wins. He hates whisky. But when he picks up his prize, he gets his first taste of a little-known whisky called Bruichladdich. That very moment he begins a journey to buy the distillery and share it with the world.
Jim McEwan is only 9 years old when he first begins to skip school, mesmerized by the pipe-smoking maltmen at his neighborhood distillery. Seven years later, he leaves school beginning a lifetime devoted to whisky. For 40 years he works at Bowmore distillery while gazing across the water at Bruichladdich, quietly dreaming of reviving the old distillery.
Bruichladdich was nothing but a group of crumbling buildings and a warehouse of neglected old whisky when Mark bought it and brought Jim onboard. Jim, freed from the constraints of a revered ancient whisky brand, sets out to reinvent himself and the distillery.
These two unlikely partners, from dramatically different backgrounds, converge at a critical time to become part of a craft movement to rediscover the past of an ancient spirit, and to reinvent the future of the entire industry, helping to transform it into a $3 billion global giant.
Scotch Whisky Revolution
There was a point making this film that we were treated to a 75-year-old whisky. At the time, it was the oldest whisky ever bottled. The whisky itself first went into a barrel before the 2nd World War. It sat aging in that barrel while Luftwaffe bombers flew overhead. It aged as the Vietnam war raged and the peace movement looked to find an end to it. It aged as the Soviet Union fell, as we were born and as our children were born.
This whisky, that we enjoyed on that raining grey afternoon in Elgin, Scotland, was a tangible witness to that history. The men who created it had long since passed, their children had passed and now, we were being poured this whisky by the granddaughters of these distillers.
In making this film, we set out to tell human stories about the world of spirits; to tell stories about the people who dedicate their lives to mastering a craft. These are craftspeople using techniques and traditions that, in some cases, harken back to the Bronze Age and the very advent of distillation.
The Water of Life is the story of the craft revolution that has launched single malt scotch whisky into the stratosphere, and the rebels and alchemists who lead the way in this global enterprise from their humble cottages on the shores of remote windswept islands.
Underwriting on PBS
We’re seeking underwriting partners for our nationwide US broadcast premiere on PBS. Much like the underwriters for Downton Abbey, Ken Burns, and Masterpiece, an underwriter for The Water of Life will have access to a national audience, on the nation’s most well-respected network.
With a total of 52 seconds of broadcast time available—not to mention digital sponsorship opportunities—our partners will have a chance to connect to a premium audience, one prone to spending on travel and luxury goods.
A Kantar research study shows that viewers believe PBS sponsors are forward-thinking, innovative, and committed to quality and excellence. PBS viewers are 2X more likely to purchase a product or service from a PBS corporate sponsor.
Our film has been selected by NETA and PBS+ to screen on as many as 349 PBS stations across the US. The audience on PBS is not only enormous, it is very demographically similar to that of whisky lovers. We are looking for partners to join us as headline sponsors to underwrite our rollout across the PBS footprint.
We appreciate you taking the time to consider working with us, if you have any questions, concerns or accolades, feel free to drop me a line at any time!
Director, The Water of Life – A Whisky Film