Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

FILMFESTIVALS | 24/7 world wide coverage

Welcome !

Enjoy the best of both worlds: Film & Festival News, exploring the best of the film festivals community.  

Launched in 1995, relentlessly connecting films to festivals, documenting and promoting festivals worldwide.

A brand new website will soon be available. Covid-19 is not helping, stay safe meanwhile.

For collaboration, editorial contributions, or publicity, please send us an email here

User login


RSS Feeds 

Martin Scorsese Masterclass in Cannes services and offers


Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Director Andrew Peat on "SCOTCH: A Golden Dream" (2018)

Interview with Director Andrew Peat on "SCOTCH: A Golden Dream" (2018)

Interview with Director Andrew Peat on "SCOTCH: A Golden Dream" (2018)

Director Andrew Peat

American director Andrew Peat's debut documentary 'SCOTCH – A Golden Dream' (2017)' follows some of the most important personalities in the world of Scottish whiskey (aka “Uisge beatha,” Gaelic for “water of life”) as they tell the story of the world of Scotch, past present and future; some of the scotch industry legends featured are Richard Paterson, Jim McEwan and Glasstorm, whose bottles hold rare whiskeys which sell for over $10,000 each. Stunningly shot entirely in Scotland by DP Arjun Kamath, the film is currently making its film festival circuit with foreign sales conducted by Concourse Media.

About Andrew: A California native and USC film school graduate, Andrew studied abroad for a year at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Since then, he has lived in Taiwan and China. While making films for his company Island Productions (Taiwan), he also teaches as an assistant professor in the film department at United International College, Zhuhai, China.

I met Andrew in Sonoma during the Sonoma International Film Festival. When I interviewed him about his film, here is what he had to say:


What made you decide you wanted to make a film about scotch?

ANDREW: I spent a year as an Exchange Fellow at the University of St. Andrews (where Prince William met Kate Middleton), and there I had my first experience with Scotch whisky. Later, at USC film school, I did some research and discovered there was very little in the way of documentaries covering Scotch whisky, so I developed a pitch for this feature film.

The film is very witty and funny. Did you know you wanted to make it that way or was that organic as you did the interviews?

ANDREW: I believe it is very important to employ humor in life and in film, in all genres. The interview questions I prepared allowed for subjects to share some very funny stories. Their answers were definitely organic, in the sense we didn't set anything up. We allowed them space and freedom to answer any way they wanted, and to share stories of their lives, and they definitely used that freedom.

How did you begin making a doc about scotch while living in Taiwan? Was that difficult?

ANDREW: With today's technology, it's much easier than before. At USC, I had already discussed making this film with the DP, Arjun Kamath, who is based in India. After returning to Taiwan, I began the process of research and preproduction, which took about 6 months. Then I flew to Scotland from Taiwan, Arjun from India, and our sound recordist, Madison, from Los Angeles. We spent 32 days filming all around Scotland. Madison carried one copy of hard drives back to L.A., where the editors took over. The editors then shared various segments and cuts with me over the internet. After picture lock, I worked in my sound studio in Taiwan on the dialogue edit and sound design. Our composer, Dustin Painter lives in North Carolina. I sent him examples of music styles, and our lead editor Phillip Hughes had done an amazing job of finding temp music. Dustin did his research, he has a great ear and sense for what fits, so he would send me samples of what he was working on and my response, 9 times out of 10, was "that's great!" All that post-production took about 18 months. I was then teaching film production in south China. When all was ready, I flew over to Skywalker Ranch for the final sound mix.    


What are the biggest scotch markets in the world outside of Scotland?

ANDREW: Definitely, the USA is a top market, but what surprises most of our film's audience is that Taiwan, with its small population of 23 million, is a leading market and the only country in the world where single malt outsells blended whisky. China is developing very quickly and with its population and growing purchasing power is certain to become a top market. Other big markets are Japan and France, where, surprisingly, Scotch outsells cognac. 


How long did it take you to make the film and how many hours of footage did you have?

ANDREW: From pitch concept to final mix was just under 3 years. We have about 67 hours of footage, and distilled that into 84 minutes of final film. 


Do you think the scotch industry is at risk of losing quality in the face of mass production today?

ANDREW: The Scotch whisky industry is very carefully regulated to maintain standards by the Scotch Whisky Association. But more importantly, the Scots themselves are very proud of this national product. It has brought them fame and recognition around the world, and as the makers clearlyarticulate in our film, they have a passion to produce only the finest product, and work constantly to develop it. 

You attended Sonoma Film Fest. How was that experience?

ANDREW: I loved it. Sonoma is a very well-run festival, they treat the attending filmmakers extremely well, and Sonoma itself is a delightful town. The festival team does a great job of partnering with local food and beverage companies, a number local wineries, Lagunitas brewery, etc. so there's always food and spirit in the Backlot tent. And for our film, as a special treat, they partnered with a local distillery, Prohibition Spirits, and the Walkers shortbread company, who provided tastings and samples at our two film showings.   ​


Will you keep making docs or move on to narratives?

ANDREW: After Scotch - A Golden Dream, I shot two more feature-length docs in Taiwan. One is finished and the other has just started editing. It's clear I love docs, but now I want to move to feature narratives. 


What are you working on next?

ANDREW: M​y next project is developing a feature narrative, the script for which I wrote while at USC. It's rooted in the 2004 tsunami that devastated much of Southeast Asia. The main characters are an Asian girl sold into sex slavery and a teen boy from California who are trapped on a small Indonesian island, don't trust each other, can't speak each other's language, but must rely on each other in order to survive. It's titled Tsunami Child. If we can put together the financing, we'd like to shoot it next summer (2019).


Interview conducted and edited by Vanessa McMahon

User images

About Vanessa McMahon