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Mississippi Filmmaker Spotlight: Kenny Cook and “Bitter Shoes”

Posted on May 1st, 2012
Posted on May 1st, 2012

by Coop Cooper

If you’ve ever been to a Mississippi film festival in the past few years then you’ve probably seen Kenny Cook.  The prolific actor has been a go-to artist for their short films for awhile now.  Cook has been in many award-winning films playing leads and character actors alike.

Now the actor makes his directorial debut with “Bitter Shoes”, the story of a broken man (played by Cook) who resorts to kidnapping in order to relive the memories of his dead son.   It’s a heartbreaking story that features a fine performance by Cook and co-star Julie Sampley as his grade school-aged hostage.

“Bitter Shoes” is an example of why short films are encouraged to stay short and sweet.  It gets to the meat of the story very quickly and leaves enough context clues to help the audience figure out what is going on without excessive exposition.  The “shoes” in question are the shoes of the dead son which Cook forces his hostage to wear and walk around in as he attempts to relive conversations he once had with his son.  This results in a tense situation for the audience because the father’s motivations aren’t clear.  Not knowing what his ultimate plans are for this little girl causes a great deal of suspense, especially when she attempts a desperate escape.

Cook does an admirable job adapting Alex Whitmer’s original script and hopefully he will continue on this promising directing path.

– C

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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
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2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival

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Northern Mississippi 1932:
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Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
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OFFICIAL SELECTION:
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2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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