Director Biography – Sally Cancello (FARGATE)

Sally Cancello is an award winning actor, writer, director and producer based in Sheffield. Sally studied acting and theatre directing in London before progressing onto film. She started writing and filming her own comedy in 2014, going on to film 10 comedy shorts/sketches over the next 18 months. Sally entered The Funny Women Awards with her fifth short film “Time Again”, which then won “Best Comedy Short”. She continued to make comedy films on zero budget until she secured BFI funding for her current short film, “Fargate”.Director Statement

“Fargate” is a northern comedy of errors which for me encapsulates all that is crazy and funny about families. Kelsey is in a difficult predicament but is dealing with her challenges head on. Her mother Maureen meanwhile, is a worrier and as the matriarch of the family, manages to whip everyone into a mad frenzy with her panic and catastrophic thinking. Growing up loving the physical comedy of Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and Morecambe and Wise, I could picture the families frantic physical journey, which then became the catalyst for the piece. This is not the first time that Kelsey’s family has been the cause of her embarrassment but no matter what, she always loves them and knows that their extreme behaviour also comes from love.

The film is set in my home city of Sheffield and this was something I was very passionate about championing. Northerners are incredibly friendly, nosey and have a wicked, dry sense of humour. I was also very keen to use local actors and crew, which we managed to do. Amazingly, our casting director Nicci Topping found Gillian Waugh (Maureen) and Rita May (Ethel) who both live in Sheffield and unbeknown to us, were also best friends too! This was a massive bonus for the film as the family dynamic was very important and this really helped to create an incredible bond. I’m also very passionate about creating parts for older actresses and this will continue to feature heavily in my future work.

I have always loved comedy and I am inspired to create films where people can see themselves and get relief from the knowledge, that we’re all just human beings, doing the best we can. My love of comedy came from my dad, who used to tell us funny stories when we were little until we were crying with laughter and our stomachs hurt. These were some of my happiest memories and it’s always my goal when writing a film to create as many laugh out loud moments as I can. Comedy and laughter are powerful healers and this is something that drives me with my work.

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