Shropshire Star

Quintessentially British: Midlands filmmaker's documentary explores all that is ‘Great’ about Britain

A stellar cast of cultural and political figures explore what makes Britain ‘Great’ in a new documentary by a West Midlands director.

Sir Ian McKellen with director Frank Mannion in Quintessentially British

Luminaries including Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Max Hastings feature in Quintessentially British, which has been released in US cinemas this week.

The feature-length film is directed by Frank Mannion, senior lecturer in film at Birmingham City University and founder of independent production company Swipe Films.

Watch the Quintessentially British trailer here:

It celebrates the history and traditions of Great Britain, from Chelsea Pensioners to high-end motoring – including the Aston Martin beloved of James Bond – to Savile Row tailoring and world famous sites including Highclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey), Blenheim Palace, Cambridge University, the Palace of Westminster, Chelsea Flower Show and the House of Lords.

The film also promises little-known insights into the private side of Queen Elizabeth II as well as the new King, Charles III, and his penchant for a particular British bootmaker’s footwear.

Mr Mannion said: "Along the journey whilst making Quintessentially British, we encountered quirky Lords, charming knights, irrepressible dames, and Shakespeare-quoting taxi drivers.

"In an era where globalisation and multinational homogeneity appears to rule many western countries, our film is a deep dive into what marks out Great Britain as different – as recognised by our wonderful cast of contributors."

The film features interviews with Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, Lord Palmer, Lord Chris Smith, Shakespearean director Sean Mathias, comedian Tom Allen, virtuoso classical musicians Braimah and Konya Kanneh-Mason and Dylan Kawende who crowd-funded his law degree at Cambridge University.

It is set to be released in the UK on December 12.