IFC and Southern Comfort Form New Partnership
Short Films on Personal Stories of New Orleans Area Musicians to Air on the Network and Online Now through February 2007 as Part of "Start the Music Up" Initiative
New York, NY, December 18, 2006 - The Independent Film Channel (IFC), the first and largest network dedicated to independent film, announced today that it has joined forces with Southern Comfort as the national distribution partner for a series of short-films telling the personal stories of New Orleans area musicians. The films, created by advertising agency Arnold Worldwide, are part of Southern Comfort's "Start the Music Up" campaign, an integrated branded entertainment initiative, designed to raise money for the Southern Comfort Music fund, which supports the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Starting the week of December 18, IFC will air the Start the Music Up films interstitially over three months on IFC TV, as well as post the films online at www.IFC.com. The partnership provides Southern Comfort with an opportunity to platform their brand and message within the network's uncut, festival-like on-air environment, while furthering IFC's mission to give a voice to rising artists. Southern Comfort joins IFC's growing list of unique integrated partnerships which includes such clients as Acura, Heineken, L'Oreal and Target.
"IFC is dedicated to empowering artists of all levels, which makes this unique partnership with Southern Comfort a natural fit - and something we're very excited to get behind," said Alan Klein, Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Licensing for IFC. "As a commercial-free network, we've developed a business model that offers our partners innovative avenues to effectively reach consumers in a creative and uncluttered environment. This particular initiative speaks to the wide range of partnerships we continue to develop, and we are very pleased to kick this off for such an important cause."
"Having the Start the Music Up films appear on the Independent Film Channel means more people will hear these musicians' powerful stories, visit the SoCo Music Fund web site, and make a donation to help keep music alive and thriving in New Orleans," said Ann Stickler, VP, Global Marketing Director, Brown-Forman.
The Start the Music Up films were shot on location in April leading up to Jazz Fest. Each film focuses on a different artist and weaves in vibrant live performances with personal interviews and footage from New Orleans. Featured artists span the genres of brass band, hip-hop, rock and funk and showcase the unique fusion of sound found in New Orleans. The lineup includes Big Sam's Funky Nation, Cowboy Mouth, Gravy, Hazard County Girls, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes and Theresa Andersson.
"The goal of the project is to focus attention on all the musicians who lost everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They had to leave their homes and they need help," said Pete Favat, Chief Creative Officer, Arnold Boston. "Music is a big part of the Southern Comfort tradition, so it's a natural partnership. We're thrilled that IFC can give the project this kind of exposure."
In addition to IFC, distribution of the films is scheduled for Southern Comfort domestic music events, and online at www.socomusicfund.org. International distribution, including the U.K., Greece, South Africa and Australia, includes select music and experiential events and potentially in cinema venues.
As part of the partnership, IFC will run on-air promotions directing viewers to both ifc.com and www.socomusicfund.org to learn more and view the stories.
About Southern Comfort
Southern Comfort, a fruit, spice, and whiskey flavored liqueur, was founded in New Orleans by bartender M.W. Heron in 1874. Today, Southern Comfort is sold in 65 countries around the world and continues to grow as an icon brand. Visit us at www.SouthernComfort.com.
Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel's, Canadian Mist, Fetzer and Bolla Wines, Korbel California Champagnes, and Hartmann Luggage.
About The New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund
The New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall. NOMHRF's mission is twofold: to provide humanitarian outreach to New Orleans musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina and to revive New Orleans' unique musical culture. By returning displaced musicians to New Orleans, creating gigs in the city, and replacing flood-damaged instruments, NOMHRF empowers musicians to earn a living and heal our community with music.
Arnold Worldwide is one of the most highly awarded agencies in the world, with a client roster that includes well-recognized brands like American Legacy Foundation's truth?, Vonage, Timberland, TAG, ESPN, Royal Caribbean, Southern Comfort and Jack Daniel's. Arnold Worldwide is owned by Havas (Nasdaq: HAVS, Euronext Paris: HAV.PA) and represents one of the lead agencies in the system, with three fully integrated service offices in the U.S.: the Boston headquarters, New York, and Washington D.C., as well as seven additional service offices.
About IFC Television
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut, uncensored and commercial-free.
The network is part of IFC Companies -- the only brand to operate in every area of independent film to include television, production, financing, distribution, digital, on-demand and exhibition. IFC Companies uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands including popular national and regional television channels AMC, fuse, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE tv, and two FSN affiliated regional sports networks managed by Rainbow Sports Networks. The company also manages Mag Rack and sportskool, two original on-demand networks; VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere; IFC Entertainment, its film distribution, production and exhibition division; Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division; and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.