News Column

Empowering Independent Short Film ‘Cancer Hair’ Set To Premiere at Cambridge Film Festival

August 28, 2014



A moving and empowering new film is set to premiere at the Cambridge and Isle of Man Film Festivals over the coming weeks, broaching the tough topic of life after cancer. Cancer Hair (http://www.cancerhairfilm.com/) is an ambitious nine-minute short which was self-funded entirely by independent film maker Gail Hackston, and offers a snapshot of a young woman going on her first date, having just finished exhausting chemotherapy treatment.

The Cambridge Film Festival is set to host the premiere of the film, with screenings on the 2ndand 5thSeptember. The Isle of Man Film Festival is set to take place a week later and will also feature a screening of Cancer Hair, on the morning of 14thSeptember.

Ms Hackston, Director of Cancer Hair, says, “We’re thrilled that the Cambridge Film Festival is hosting the premiere of Cancer Hair – there are many shorts and films created that touch on the experience of having cancer or losing someone to the illness, but the survivors’ stories can sometimes fly under the radar. We wanted to create this non-romantic comedy and add a light-hearted twist to what can be a traumatic time.”

She adds, “Cancer Hair aims to be a hopeful and thought-provoking piece, combining moments of high comedy with drama, tension and that all-too -human feeling that we are not enough – as well as that terribly British habit of carrying on regardless of how awful something becomes!”

The film focuses on Claire Ferris, who has been cajoled into going on her first date since she finished cancer treatment. The chemotherapy she underwent caused Claire to lose her hair, denting her confidence severely – Claire was always ‘the pretty one’ in her group of friends, and was, for better or worse, defined by her appearance. Now, having to resort to a wig, Claire is dreading the thought of getting back on the dating scene in her mid-thirties, but she relents when her friend Sandra sets her up with a friend from work, Andrew.

The date goes terribly – there are embarrassing waitresses, awkward silences and nervous moments, until Claire and Andrew realise that they have more in common than they initially thought. They begin to enjoy the night, both realising that, though there is definitely a connection between them, it will never be fully realised.

Laura Aikman brings her exceptional talent to the role of Claire. Laura has over one hundred TV and film credits to her name, having starred in Casualty, Not Going Out, Citizen Khan and the critically-acclaimed Pramface. David McCusker stars opposite Laura as Andrew – his recent screen work includes sitcom pilot Call Girls, as well as a whole host of advertisements for brands such as Samsung and Freeview.

After the run of screenings at various film festivals, Ms Hackston intends for her film to be used for philanthropic purposes. She says, “Once the Cancer Hair screenings are over, we would like to offer the film to a cancer charity, who could perhaps make use of it in a fundraising or awareness campaign, to draw attention to the support service for women who lose their hair to chemotherapy.  Please get in contact if you think you could make good use of my work.”

Catch Cancer Hair at the Cambridge Film Festival screenings; 11am on 2nd September and 10.15pm on 5th September.

To find out more about Cancer Hair, visit the website: http://www.cancerhairfilm.com/

For more information about the film’s director Gail Hackston, visit http://www.gailhackston.com/ Editor's Note: Issued by Dakota Digital. For more information please contact Jade Cayton. Email: jade@dakotadigital.co.uk (Rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk). Contact Gail directly at mail@cancerhairfilm.com or gail.hackston@hotmail.co.uk. Tel 07519 028534.



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