York court’s battle to become boutique hotel made into film

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A woman’s battle to turn a historic building in York into a boutique hotel during the economic downturn has been made into a feature-length documentary, to be premiered at the City Screen cinema on Sunday.

Folie A Deux – Madness Made Of Two – is the result of five years of filming at the Grade I listed Grays Court building near York Minster as Helen Heraty struggled against bankruptcy and through bitter disputes with neighbours, according to a report in York Press.

Director Kim Hopkins said the film follows Heraty, an “alpha-female, love-her, hate-her-but-you-can’t-ignore-her mother-of-seven”, as she embarks on a costly dream to turn the crumbling national monument into England’s finest historic hotel.

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“Suddenly the economic climate crashes, and free falls. The result is a knuckle-clenching, comical and oh so English, tale of our times,” said Hopkins.

She told York Press that the idea for the film was born after a chance meeting in a bar with Heraty, who told her about her seven children, whirlwind romance and recent purchase of Grays Court.

It is due for cinema release on October 4, before being broadcast on the BBC Storyville Strand at a later date.

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