With LOCO London Comedy Film Festival kicking off this week, here’s an exclusive taster of what you can expect there over the next two weeks.
Herron says the idea came from “a period in my early 20s when I went backpacking around the USA. I was 3,000 miles from home and events that would normally be mundane, like a bus breaking down or buying a coffee, were suddenly transformed into these wild and magical experiences.
"I thought I was this free spirit, but I was basically an idiot with a blocked bank card carrying useless items like water purification tablets. I remember feeling quite lost at that time and hoping that some wise guide would appear and tell me what to do.”
Co-writer Monica Heisey adds: “We were drawn to telling the story of the way we mythologise places we're not from — as a graduate student moving to the UK I had a lot of ideas about how life in London would be. Still, nothing could have prepared me for the reality of a Tesco prawn mayonnaise sandwich value meal.”
Jonathan Wakeman, who oversaw the LOCO scheme, explains what drew him to Rest Stop. “Whenever I read a short film script I apply the Two Ronnies test: could they have done it faster and funnier? If so, it’s not a film, it’s a sketch. Rest Stop is only 10 minutes but it's a proper cinema film: it has a strong dramatic structure, two fascinating characters who are not what they appear, and it’s a genuine turning point in one of their lives.”
For Wakeman, supporting comedy at its grassroots is what LOCO is all about: “London has the most diverse and adventurous comedy audience in the world, but cinemas tend to be filled by the same, rather narrow range of Hollywood comedies. We set up LOCO to help people discover more original, intelligent comedy cinema from British and international film-makers.”
Rest Stop stars Cari Leslie and Ben Willbond and was produced by Genia Krassnig. For more London Shorts click here.
You can see wall to wall comedy, both shorts and features, at LOCO London Comedy Film Festival from 20 April to 1 May.