The Macallan has released its first biopic ever, centered around the former managing director, Janet Harbinson and the making of the legendary The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926. After fetching $1.9 million at Sotheby’s in 2019, it continues to be the world’s most valuable bottle of wine or spirit ever sold at auction. Titled The Spirit of 1926, the eight-minute campaign film is set in Speyside, Scotland, primarily at The Macallan’s 485-acre Estate. The campaign has been developed by The Macallan Global Creative Director, Jaume Ferras, who assembled some of the best talents in the business to make the film and bring the extraordinary story to life, including Emily Mortimer, Simple Minds, Mike Newell, Christopher Kane, and more.
Janet Harbinson, known as ‘Nettie’ is the essence and personification of The Macallan today and represents the link that unites the past and present of the brand. After her husband Alexander, who had been running the distillery, passed in 1918, Nettie assumed control of the distillery, kept the business afloat, and helped to rebuild the local area.
We uncovered Janet Harbinson’s story when researching the background to The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 and we knew we had to share it as soon as we learned of her role in its distillation and maturation, as well as the deep influence she had on the future development of the brand. At its heart, this is a love story; it celebrates the love that Nettie had for her husband, her love for the local community, her love for nature and her love for the family business. She cared deeply about others and was determined to use her position at The Macallan to enrich the lives of those around her. Guided by her conviction and strong belief in doing the next right thing for everyone she cared about, she unconsciously made history and it is only right that we pay tribute to her. – Jaume Ferras, Global Creative Director for The Macallan and a producer of the film
The Spirit of 1926 stars British-American actress Emily Mortimer. The Macallan also collaborated with an acclaimed director Mike Newell, whose credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Mona Lisa Smile, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The script was written by award-winning screenwriter Allan Scott, whose Hollywood hits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Don’t Look Now, Castaway and The Queen’s Gambit. Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane created a series of 1920s outfits for the film using historic, luxury fabrics from artisan suppliers including hand-crafted lace and bespoke The Macallan tweed. Scottish rock group Simple Minds created the film’s exclusive soundtrack.
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