10:50am Saturday 28th April 2012
By Nick Hitchens
A film that compares Croydon to purgatory - the waiting room for Heaven - is heading to the Cannes Film Festival.
Independent film producer Jen X is hoping to hit the big time with Limbo, a 12-minute movie based on the concept of purgatory, the place in Catholic dogma sinners must pay off their crimes before entering heaven.
Shot in Croydon over two days in October last year, the film is a comedy following the life of Luke as he finds out the afterlife looks a lot like south London.
A screening to potential investors in March has landed the film a slot at The Cannes Film festival next month and director Matt McCooey is hoping to raise £100,000 to turn the concept into a full-length feature.
He said: "In film terms it is a micro budget so we are hoping to get some interest. We would be looking to resume filming in September or October."
Using the iconic 50p building, lit up in red, as the base for the shadowy purgatory bosses, the cast also can be seen outside the Clocktower on Katharine Street in the short film.
Mr McCooey, who is also an actor and writer, was inspired to base his "purgatory" on Croydon after being employed as a role-play actor for the Royal College of GPs at No.1 Croydon, known as the 50p building, helping test overseas trained doctors.
He said: "I was getting the tram as it snaked into Croydon on a drizzly day and just felt I was entering purgatory.
"It could have been anywhere, but the name also carried an infamy - everyone knows Croydon.
"The film actually challenges stereotypes - we’ve got an angel who’s actually horrible, and a demon who is just lovesick and doesn’t know what to do and the point about purgatory is everyone there knows they are going to heaven."
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