Lights, camera, action! Speyside Distillery takes on starring role in celebrations for the Edinburgh International Film Festival World Premiere of Whisky Galore!


Speyside Distillery is about take a starring role at the premiere of the remake of Whisky Galore! – almost 70 years after making its screen debut in the original version of the classic Scottish comedy.

The latest big-screen version of Compton McKenzie’s much-loved novel will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday (June 26), and Speyside Distillery will be ensuring plenty of whisky flows at the after-party.

The distillery’s parent company, Harvey’s of Edinburgh, appeared in the original version of the film, which was released in 1949. Boxes branded with the company’s logo appeared in the movie, which is based on the true story of a shipwreck off the coast of Eriskay.

The ship, packed with export-only whisky, was sailing to the United States during World War II and the islanders take advantage of the unexpected windfall of alcohol and try to outfox the local Home Guard.

Speyside Distillery will be the official whisky sponsor for the closing part of the Festival, which takes place in the stunning surroundings of the Playfair Library following an earlier screening of Whisky Galore!

John says, “My family established their whisky business back in the 1770s and it continued through the generations. My grandfather, Alex Harvey, was a whisky trader and actually exported to the United States in the early part of the last century, around the time Whisky Galore! was first made.

“We looked at some shots of the original Whisky Galore! movie, and were both surprised and delighted to see Harvey’s of Edinburgh wooden boxes being scooped up from the water by some of the locals.

“We were extremely pleased to be asked to support the after-party for Whisky Galore! and will even be dressing the venue with some of those wooden boxes which were central to the original film.

“We’ll be supporting Whisky Galore! at other film festivals around the world, and we’re looking forward to this weekend and raising a glass of SPEY from Speyside Distillery in toast to the success of this wonderful Scottish film.”

The remake of Whisky Galore! is produced by Iain McLean and stars several well-known Scottish actors including Gregor Fisher and James Cosmo, in addition to Eddie Izzard in the role of Captain Waggett.

Established in 1947, Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema – and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking.

Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, EIFF seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent, in a setting steeped in history. 2016 marks the 70th edition of the Festival, making it the longest continually running film festival in the world.