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Sundance Channel And Diageo Partner On Dynamic Multi-Platform Sponsorship Deal

Network Dives into the Search for Captain Morgan's Lost Fleet with New DocumentaryThe Unsinkable Henry Morgan Airing on Sundance Channel on January 20th; Film Will Screen at a Sundance Channel Event during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sundance Channel and Diageo have partnered on a multi-platform, multi-brand sponsorship deal and production project to be launched at the upcoming 2013 Sundance Film Festival. With a variety of activities and a major presence, Diageo's Captain Morgan, Ciroc and Bulleit Bourbon brands will come to life at Sundance Channel's headquarters on Main Street in Park City, Utah during the festival.


Ciroc will excite Sundance Channel HQ visitors with musical stylings from their in-house DJ each day of the festival. On Sunday, January 20th, Tom Bulleit and Jeymes Samuel, the director of They Die by Dawn, will host an exclusive event at the Sundance Channel HQ where they will debut a trailer for the upcoming They Die by Dawn premiere. The video short will highlight the visionary spirits of both Tom Bulleit and Jeymes Samuel, bringing to life the spirit of both the Bulleit Bourbon brand and the upcoming film.  

As part of an ongoing effort to bring the history of one of the world's most renowned privateers to life, the Captain Morgan brand and Sundance Channel have aligned with award-winning director Michael Haussman to create The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, a documentary film exploring the myths and legends surrounding Captain Henry Morgan's conquests in Panama, premiering on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM ET.

On the evening of Friday, January 18th, the film will be screened at the Filmmaker Lodge in Park City, with an after-party taking place at Sundance Channel HQ. Fritz Hanselmann, the lead archaeologist featured in the film, will emcee the event and director Michael Haussman, as well as New York Times bestselling author of "Empire of the Blue Water," Stephan Talty, will both participate in a Q&A session. Bringing the Captain Morgan brand to life, the HQ will display a 10-foot replica of The Satisfaction, Captain Morgan's flagship, during the event. Additionally, there will be photographs from the documentary's shipwreck expedition, behind-the-scenes shots from filming, and a replica of Captain Morgan's iconic red coat on display for HQ visitors to observe.

The innovative 30-minute documentary follows a team of prestigious artists and experts, including Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood and bestselling author Stephan Talty, as they traverse the Central American country formulating a cultural impression of Morgan's legacy in Panama today.

"Most people have at least heard of the infamous Captain Morgan, but to this day, I don't know if people know whether he was real or just a fictitious pirate. For me, that was the most intriguing reason to take on the project," explained Haussman. "Our artists and experts acted as investigators, using their skills to paint a more accurate picture of Henry Morgan, the man. What we were not prepared for was the enormous scale of his feats, or the historical significance his conquering of Panama played in re-shaping the country and the decline of the Spanish Empire forever."

Part of the journey to create The Unsinkable Henry Morgan included diving into the search for Captain Henry Morgan's lost fleet – an underwater archeological expedition in search of the five ships Morgan lost in 1671 off the coast of Panama on the shallow Lajas Reef, which included his flagship The Satisfaction. The project began in September 2010, when a team of leading U.S. archeologists, led by Frederick "Fritz" Hanselmann discovered six iron cannons belonging to Morgan. Armed with funding from the Captain Morgan brand, the team discovered and excavated artifacts from a 17th century wooden shipwreck near where Morgan's ships were lost.

Drawing inspiration from the cast of colorful characters and historic sites visited during their travels in Panama, the team of artists and experts returned to their respective studios to create beautiful modern-day works of art, including a replica of Morgan's iconic red coat and a 10-foot recreation of The Satisfaction, that bring the re-imagined adventures of Henry Morgan to life.

The team of artists and experts, who joined Haussman for the journey to Panama, includes: 

  • The Historian – Stephan Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of the Blue Water, an account of Captain Morgan's army and the epic battle for the Americas. He has studied the privateer extensively and has a deep understanding of the everyday lives of Morgan and his crew.
  • The Costume Designer – Academy Award-winner and one of the most accomplished costume designers in all of Hollywood, Colleen Atwood, drew inspiration from her Panamanian adventure to design a stunning contemporary rendition of Morgan's most famous wardrobe staple – his iconic red coat.
  • The Set Designers – Italian production designer Dante Ferretti, who has designed sets for well-known films including Gangs of New York, The Aviator and Hugo, and his apprentice, Carlos Aloisio, built an incredible 10-foot replica of Morgan's flagship, The Satisfaction.
  • The Artists – The Australian comic book artist, Ben Templesmith, best known for his comics Fell, 30 Days of Night and The Nightmare Factory, and award-winning comic book creator, Michael Bendis, known for Marvel Comics Ultimate Universe and JINX crime comics, partnered to create a one-of-a-kind graphic novel based on Henry Morgan's adventures in Panama.

"The Unsinkable Henry Morgan is the latest chapter in the Captain Morgan brand's ongoing quest to tell the story of one of the most fascinating privateers of all time," said Tom Herbst, Vice President of Rums, Diageo North America. "Our hope is that viewers walk away feeling inspired to lead a life rich in adventure by a man who was and is so much more than just our brand icon." He continued, "We were thrilled to be able to collaborate with Sundance Channel on this project. With their unrivaled connections in the documentary and independent filmmaking world, and their ability to create unique sponsorship tools, we have effectively been able to bring the Captain Morgan brand to life."

"At Sundance Channel we're always looking for daring and innovative ways for our sponsors to connect with our highly curious and connected audience. 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.  We are delighted that we were able to play an integral role in the production of The Unsinkable Henry Morgan and we look forward to sharing it with our audience," stated Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel General Manager.

The Captain Morgan brand reminds adult consumers, whether diving into the history of Captain Henry Morgan from the comfort of your couch, or setting sail on a new adventure: Raise your glass – always in moderation!

About Diageo
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Guinness, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards Wines.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

About Sundance Channel
Sundance Channel is the destination for What's Next, Now. Showcasing both today's creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow, Sundance Channel tells credible, authentic, and emotionally immersive stories of Invention, Fashion, Film, Travel, Design, and Enterprise. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc, Sundance Channel provides perspectives dedicated to founder Robert Redford's mission to celebrate creativity.

About Michael Haussman
Michael Haussman is a director, writer and artist, whose internationally acclaimed commercials for brands like Levi's, Diesel, and Guinness have won numerous awards. He has also directed music videos for such artists as Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Usher, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King, which have won several MTV and VH1 awards, including twice MTV 'Music Video Of The Year.'  Haussman wrote and directed the experimental film, RHINOCEROS HUNTING IN BUDAPEST, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.


Sari Brecher

Elana Mayerfield

Katie Zach


Sundance Channel





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