Supermarket chain backs Oscar-winner’s Christmas Day documentary compiled from footage submitted by people from across the UK.

Kevin Macdonald has completed a new documentary in the “…in a Day” series, financed by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and focussed on Christmas Day.

Christmas in a Day will debut on YouTube on Nov 29 and the 50-minute film is compiled from more than 360 hours of festive footage shot on Dec 25, 2012 by 114 families throughout Britain.

The director behind Oscar-winning doc One Day in September and BAFTA-winning film The Last King of Scotland put out a call this time last year for people to submit videos for the project, which follows Life in a Day (2011) and Britain in a Day (2012).

Like the previous instalments, Christmas in a Day is produced by Ridley Scott Associates and Scott Free London.

Sainsbury’s support

Sainsbury’s has supported the film since its inception, and in a departure for the brand, will devote TV spots to screen a series of film trailers promoting the film, in addition to its traditional food focused Christmas advertising campaign. 

The first of these trailers is a 3mins 30secs extended preview of the film that will air on ITV on tonight (Nov 13), taking the entire primetime centre ad break during popular soap Coronation Street.

A further two 40secs and two 60sec trailers will air between Nov 13 and Dec 21.


Christmas adverts have become a battleground for British retailers, with John Lewis and Marks & Spencer’s among those to annually launch high concept campaigns that make headlines and generate chatter on social networks.

This move is seen as a push by Sainsbury’s to take ground in the competitive Christmas market.

Mark Given, head of brand communications for Sainsbury’s, said the film would be its “lead Christmas activity”.

“Funny and moving”

Macdonald, whose latest features include music documentary Marley and drama How I Live Now, said: “When we made Life in a Day we asked people around the globe to record their lives on a single ordinary day. 

“When we were cutting that film we talked about what it might be like if we chose a day that already had significance to people. The result is Christmas in a Day.

“Christmas is the one time in the whole year when ordinary British life is suspended. We have time to contemplate life and be with those we love.

“I was overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the people up and down the country, from every walk of life, who filmed their Christmas and shared it with us.

“I feel that the finished film stands out for many reasons – it is funny, moving, often beautifully shot and above all truthful. “

The launch of the film on YouTube will follow a special premiere screening at BAFTA in London, when Macdonald will present the finished film to the filmmakers who have contributed footage.

Macdonald is currently in post-production on Black Sea, a submarine-based thriller starring Jude Law.