Parish councillor Martin Humphreys discovered that his rescue cat, Midge, shared his passion for running when she began joining him as he jogged through his village. When his workplace offered a £1,000 competition for employees to fulfil a dream, he won after proposing a children’s film about Midge’s peculiar talent. Cannes Film Festival ready to open with Indiana Jones hypeCannes 2009: Why I love Cannes The result, The Great Race, has been selected for the Short Film Corner at Cannes and Mr Humphreys, who wrote, directed and penned the theme song for the eight-minute production, is flying out to the French Riviera to show it to Hollywood executives. It is believed to be the lowest budget offering at the festival – the opening night film, Pixar animation Up, cost $150 million to make. He explained: “I got Midge from a rescue centre 12 years ago and we have been running together for about five years. It began when I went to the local shop and she would follow me. On one occasion I ran back and she accelerated and wouldn’t let me beat her. That’s when we started racing. People stare because cats aren’t supposed to do this, but she races me every time.” Mr Humphreys begins the races with a whistle, which is Midge’s cue to get set and go. He spent several weeks in training for the climactic sprint in The Great Race, which is billed as “the ultimate showdown” between cat and man. The parish councillor from Wrose in Bradford, West Yorkshire, who works as a customer advisor for O2 and as a local historian, is hoping that studio bosses will spot Midge’s star potential. “My dream is for The Great Race to be picked up and turned into a full length feature film. Midge has acting talent. I can see her getting involved in car chases, getting kidnapped – it has the potential to be the greatest children’s film ever.” Mr Humphreys would like to make a sequel in which Midge races Olympic 100m champion and world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt. He is convinced she would win.
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