Interview with Filmmaker Michael Cooke (FREEMAN HOSPITALITY)

Directed by Michael Cooke
A black family-run security firm escorts a foreign journalist into the war-torn badlands of South Georgia to interview a local tyrant.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

After the success of my first short film “Across The Tracks” I really wanted to take my time and see what story lines and elements I was drawn toward for my follow up short. Freeman Hospitality came out of a multitude of things, a need to show African Americans outside normal acted roles. A Family that are entrepreneurial masters of their own fate, with the ability to protect themselves and others with their proficiency in firearms. I’m looking to challenge the traditional stereotype of the black family unit, and the stories that represent them.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

From the first draft to submission I’d say it took 5 years. Covid playing a huge role in its pause.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Sci-Fi Western… I hope thats two words lol.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Truthfully Covid was our biggest hindrance.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was moved by all the different view points and just the diversity in viewers. It felt so great to see so many people get the more nuanced takes and themes we were going for.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I’ve wanted to make films easily since I was 15.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

That’s probably a tie between Aliens and Bad Boys 2

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think you guys are doing a great job. This was such a unique way to get feedback

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?


10. What is your favorite meal?

A good meat bolognese

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I have a few scripts in development right now. Freeman has been such an undertaking I plan on working this film through the festival rounds for a few.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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