Burberry has launched a Christmas advertising campaign, drawing on its heritage and the life of its founder Thomas Burberry.

The British luxury brand commissioned filmmaker Asif Kapadia, director of documentaries Amy and Senna, to make the cinematic advert, The Tale of Thomas Burberry.

Its all-star cast features Domhnall Gleeson as Burberry while Dominic West plays polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who wore Burberry gabardine for three Antarctic expeditions and Sienna Miller plays Burberry’s fictional first love.

Lily James plays a fictional pilot, inspired by the real life achievements of Betty Kirby-Green, who broke the world record in 1937 for a return flight from England to Cape Town in an aeroplane named The Burberry.

The advert was primarily shot at Shirburn Castle in Oxfordshire while Burberry’s Castleford factory in Yorkshire manufactured replica gabardine tents for the polar exploration scenes.

Burberry will broadcast the advert on social media and in cinemas and will use stills on billboards and in print. 

Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey said: “This Christmas, as we celebrate our 160th anniversary we wanted to tell the story of Thomas Burberry – pioneer, inventor, innovator, and the man behind the iconic trench coat – in our own words.

“The film we have made is a brief glimpse inspired by his full and extraordinary life, which threaded its way through the history of the twentieth century in all its tumultuous highs and lows.

“We feel very proud to be sharing The Tale of Thomas Burberry this Christmas – his spirit and his vision are still at the heart of everything we do at Burberry today.”