If you’re one of those people who loves trawling the movie trailers on long-haul planes or Apple TV just for the trailers (it’s the ultimate way to avoid FOMO, right? Why invest two hours when you could sample taster of them all?) then this one’s for you.

To celebrate its 160th anniversary, quintessential British fashion brand Burberry has created an short film that looks and feels more like the trailer for an Oscar-worthy epic movie than a genius marketing campaign, which of course, it is.

In just three minutes The Tale of Thomas Burberry reveals more about the brand’s heritage, biggest achievements and founder than most fans of its current collections could possibly know.

xTheTaleofThomasBurberryCampaignonembargountil1November20168AMUKtime
A-list actors Sienna Miller and Dohmnall Gleeson star in the short film

For example, the weatherproof gaberdine that Mr Burberry invented was used for British army uniforms in the trenches of World War One – the genesis of the brand’s signature Trench coat. And Britain’s answer to Amelia Earhart, Betty Kirby-Green, who broke the world record for a return flight from England to Cape Town in 1937 was dressed by Thomas for the voyage and flew in a plane called The Burberry.

“The whole thing is so beautiful and so well shot and so lush and the colours are so wonderful, it sort of evokes such a sense of romance and drama and feels like you really want to go watch the movie,” says Downton Abbey and Cinderella star Lily James, who features in the film.

xTheTaleofThomasBurberryCampaignFromtheset005
Lily James, who fronts Burberry’s current fragrance campaign, stars as a record-breaking pilot from the 1930s

As all good cinematic masterpieces do, this film boasts an impressively talented cast and crew. Acclaimed Irish actor Domhall Gleeson plays Thomas Burberry, with Sienna Miller starring as his fictitious first love and wife, Dominic West as polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and James as record-breaking pilot Betty Kirby-Green. Both Miller and James of course are faces of Burberry’s current ready-to-wear and fragrance campaigns respectively.

xTheTaleofThomasBurberryCampaignFromtheset003
Dominic West as Sir Earnest Shakleton

“Asif the director is someone I think is phenomenally talented,” says Miller. “It’s difficult with these short films because they’re moments captured and you’re trying to create a real story and I think he really is fantastic at doing that.”

xTheTaleofThomasBurberryCampaignFromtheset004
Sienna Miller as Mrs Burberry

Little wonder the short film feels like a trailer shown for a ‘Best Picture’ nomination at the Academy Awards: the film’s director (Asif Kapadia, Amy), director of photography (Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha) and hair and make-up head (Jenny Shircore, Elizabeth) are all Oscar winners. Even the soundtrack, performed by Lawless and Weyes Blood, is hauntingly beautiful. 

xTheTaleofThomasBurberryCampaignFromtheset001
Irish actor Domhall Gleeson plays Thomas Burberry

“I was really lucky – we had a fantastic cast and a great team on the shoot,” says director, Kapadia. “For me it does feel like a trailer for a movie we haven’t actually gotten around to shooting yet. Maybe we will one day.” We live in hope. Thomas Burberry deserves it, and so do you.

Watch the Behind the Scenes clip here:

All images courtesy Burberry

thoughts?