October 6, 2017 Print

I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit’, a short film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), is the story of the unique history of whiskey in America and how free markets have created the current renaissance under which the spirit is thriving. The purpose of this film, expressed by CEI, is to “tell the story of human ingenuity, craft, and the market’s role in the storied history and current boom in whiskey.” The film is a documentary that shows “what can be accomplished when we’re free to create and innovate,” CEI explains. CEI launched this film last fall and it has continued to pick up steam as they bring it to several festivals this fall.

Inspired by Leonard Read’s famous I, Pencil essay that examines all the actors involved in manufacturing something as simple as a pencil, CEI’s short film sought to celebrate the countless individuals involved in bringing whiskey from grain to glass. From farmer, to distiller, to those who come together to enjoy the spirit, the story of whiskey is one that functions as an illustration of the wonders of the free market and accompanying commerce that foster such innovation, collaboration, and celebration.

This July, I, Whiskey traveled to Las Vegas for FreedomFest’s Anthem Film Festival, where the film was given an award for Excellence in Commercial Film Making. The Festival also featured a panel discussion on “The Marvel of Free Markets.” I, Whiskey was also accepted into the Food & Farm Film Fest towards the end of September.

This month, the film will be presented to whiskey lovers at the 20th anniversary of “WhiskyFest” in San Francisco. There the executive producer of I, Whiskey, Richard Morrison, the Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President David Ozgo, and Donors Trust President & CEO Lawson Bader will discuss the growth of craft distilling, whiskey-preneurs, and the power of storytelling. To top it off, the film will compete in its seventh film fest later this year at the Silicon Valley International Film Festival.

Since the film’s debut in October of last year, it has been screened over 50 times around the world, has earned 10 awards, and has been viewed on YouTube and Facebook more than 150,000 times. The success of this film lies entirely in its ability to tell the story of whiskey and how the history of this distinct spirit has brought so many together through the connection of commerce.