A documentary for Johnnie Walker made with award winning director Talal Derki about a Greek village of 150 residents who helped 300,000+ refugees.
Johnnie Walker is a brand with historical weight—in terms of advertising, design, and even politics. The tagline ‘Keep Walking’ has been used on flags and signs in protests around the world, and their ads have consistently encouraged people to persevere in the face of hardship.
This time, though, they wanted positivity, joyfulness, and hope. They wanted something from the real world to prove that a positive mindset can help us get through the most trying of times. Other than being 100% true and positive, there weren’t a lot of parameters.
After sifting through hundreds of stories, we ended up on the Nobel Peace Prize nominated villagers from the island of Lesvos. To make sure we didn’t turn the story into just another ad, we worked with Sundance award winning documentary director Talal Derki (Return to Homs) to create a 10+ minute film about the 150 residents of Skala Sykamias and their incredible reaction to hundreds of thousands of refugees showing up on their shores in search of a better tomorrow.
The long form is currently making the rounds at a variety of film festivals including Cannes Film Festival for diversity, and the shorter, 5 minute version, has generated an extremely positive reaction from both industry and traditional sources.
This will hopefully be the first of many films of this nature as part of the new Johnnie Walker Storyline project, where local filmmakers tell stories of positivity in a world full of negative news.