Last week, Cognac-Expert was lucky enough to attend the premiere of the RISE ABOVE by Martell: Wings campaign for Martell XO Cognac.  Held at the Pernod Ricard HQ in Paris, the film was shown to an industry exclusive crowd as a preview before going live.

The film, by James Gray, takes the emblem of Martell – the swift – and pays tribute to the brand’s unique heritage.  Film maker Gray is known for previous creations such as We Own the Night, Two Lovers, The Yards and Little Odessa.  The RISE ABOVE: Wings film was made in collaboration with Director of Photography, Darius Khondji.  In addition, the tailor made soundtrack is performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and mixed by Etienne Colin, the Oscar winning sound engineer.

The message of the film is all about one’s potential to achieve great things.  And the swift becomes the symbol of this.  Legend says that it was a swift that led Jean Martell to the city of Cognac in 1715.  Aged only 21 years, he was responsible for founding what is now the oldest of the “big four” Cognac houses.

A potent message

Wings is all about that special moment when a person begins the journey on a new project.  This is something that virtually every human being has experienced; the preparation, tension, excitement and effort that goes along with striking out on a new path.

RISE ABOVE; Wings follows four individuals on their own journeys – literally watching them ‘unfold their wings’ as they take those first, frightening steps.


As the story unfolds, the music creates the atmosphere and, with an explosion of sound, these four men fulfil their dream.  And above, the swift soars up into the sky.

This inspirational film will be launched on Chinese TV in January, before being rolled out worldwide.

Read more about Martell XO
Sources: Martell

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RISE ABOVE: Wings – The New Campaign for Martell XO

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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