Sundance Sponsor Nabs Fest Screening

By Robert Marich
  Jan 16, 2012—A corporate sponsor at the Sundance Film Festival created content that unspools in a sidebar of the fest, in a bid to escape the NASCAR-like clutter of overt promotions, notes a Variety story.
   The Captain Morgan brand of rum, which is part of the Diageo spirits conglomerate, has a 30-minute documentary showing at Sundance titled The Unsinkable Henry Morgan.
   “Film follows a team of artists and experts, including costume designer Colleen Atwood (Snow White and the Huntsman, Alice in Wonderland), and author Stephan Talty, as they explore the legends surrounding Morgan's exploits in Panama and the cultural impression he left there,” says the Variety article by Marc Graser. “In its 30-plus years, Sundance has fought to maintain its roots as a showcase for independent film and maverick voices even as it evolved into a mainstream attraction.” Unsinkable Henry is not in Sundance competition.
   The Sundance fest supposedly promotes independent thinking, but increasingly is deluged with corporate sponsors who are purveyors of financial services, automobile, consumer electronics and beverage products and services. Not surprisingly, booze marketer Diageo just announced a “dynamic multiplatform sponsorship deal” with the Sundance Channel, which is also part of Robert Redford’s indie film empire.
   “At Sundance Channel we're always looking for daring and innovative ways for our sponsors to connect with our highly curious and connected audience,” Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel General Manager, said in a press release. “By working closely with Diageo, we were able to design an extremely specific and effective content play for their brand at both the Sundance Film Festival and on our channel.”
  Another corporate sponsor working the Sundance crowds in a more direct and glitzy way is promotion outfit RAND Luxury, which promises an invitation-only house of luxury exhibit will showcase “some of the world's most influential brands, including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Hasselblad, and Sony, among others.”
   Oooh. Aaah.
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