Unbelievably, it’s 15 years since Billy Elliot was released, earning itself a part in British movie history. To celebrate that fact, Burberry, another great British institution, has taken the dance-themed film as its inspiration for its 2015 festive campaign.
As ever, it have enlisted a suitably starry cast to bring the Christmas cheer. Elton John and Julie Walters lead a pack of British talent.
Both, of course, have ties to Billy Elliot; Walters starred as dance teacher Sandra Wilkinson in the original film, while Elton wrote the music for the film’s hugely-successful stage adaptation, Billy Elliot the Musical.
We also have the comedian James Corden, actress Michelle Dockery (better known as Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary), musicians James Bay and George Ezra, Romeo Beckham – for whom it’s the second Burberry Christmas campaign – models Naomi Campbell and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as well as Rosie’s brother Toby, who is welcomed into the Burberry fold for the first time.
All appear in a sparkling three-minute film that imitates Billy Elliot’s iconic opening credits, in which Billy bounces on his bed to the sound of T-Rex’s Cosmic Dancer. Actual footage from the film is used at the very beginning, showing Billy placing a record on a record player. Corden, Elton and co bounce gleefully, decked in Burberry’s heritage and seasonal trench coats and made-in-Scotland cashmere scarves monogrammed with their initials.
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The film is accompanied by a series of still images shot by the brand’s stalwart campaign photographer Mario Testino featuring Naomil, Rosie, Romeo and James Bay.
Burberry has donated £500,000 in recognition of each artist’s participation in the festive campaign to two charities that help young people in the North of England community of Easington where Billy Elliot was filmed.
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