World-renowned spirits writer Dave Broom crowdfunds new whisky documentary – The Amber Light

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Acclaimed spirits writer Dave Broom is using crowdfunding to raise a substantial part of the cost of filming a road trip documentary, exploring the untold story of whisky and Scottish culture.

Glaswegian writer Dave Broom – in collaboration with online food and drink magazine The Gannet and London-based video agency – is aiming to raise £40,000 through the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform by April 7th. So far over 50 backers have pledged more than £17,000 via the website. Called The Amber Light, the documentary will highlight the lesser known parts of Scottish culture and history through the lens of whisky, with personalities from art, music, literature and food.

Dave Broom, who has been writing about spirits for 25 years, will travel the length and breadth of Scotland talking to key innovators and thinkers in the whisky world – farmers, distillers, bar owners and historians – as well as people less directly involved: musicians, artists and writers. Among the film’s contributors will be Scottish crime writer and “king of the Tartan Noir” Ian Rankin, who will talk about the “darkness in the Scottish soul”.

The film will explore the unsung role of women in distilling and blending over the centuries, the influence of alchemists, medicine men and botanists, and the evolution of spirits from medicine to social lubricants. The documentary will also look at the temperance movement, smugglers, Dante’s inferno, and the use of unexpected ingredients in whisky’s development, such as saffron.

Filming will take place over the summer with screenings of the documentary in November and the premiere of the finished film expected in January 2019.

Dave Broom, whisky writer and presenter, said: “There’ll be contradictory opinions — so we will be talking about whisky’s dark side as well as whisky’s light side; talking about the completely forgotten role that women have always played in distillation and whisky-making as well, so we’ll be trying to redress some of the balances and some of the misconceptions as well that I think have sprung up around whisky — it’s not all about tartan and shortbread.”

Adam Park, co-founder of and documentary director, added: “This is a hugely exciting project with the world’s foremost expert on whisky. We realised there’s a much greater and weirder story to tell about whisky and the culture that’s built up over the centuries. Music and storytelling will be key components.

“All those who pledge money, from as little as £25, for the documentary will receive various rewards. It’s full steam ahead. We’ve already assembled an incredibly talented and dedicated team, both on screen and off. We have mitigated risk by meticulously crafting our plan, and building an accurate scope of the work – covering everything from scouting and securing locations, interviewees, equipment rental, and so on.”

Find out more: The Amber Light – Kickstarter

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