I’m a writer / director making films with complex female characters at the centre of the narrative. I have written and directed five short fiction films, directed a sixth and also directed and produced a short documentary. My short films have screened multiple times at BAFTA qualifying festivals including London Short Film Festival (First Bite, Siren, Breathe), Underwire Festival (First Bite, Siren, Pillow Talk), Iris Prize (Siren, Pillow Talk) and Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival (Siren).
My background is in producing having completed my masters degree at the Northern Media School, followed by working as a producer on independent short films and promos including the award winning Film London funded short film Physical Education (2010). The following year I made my non student directorial debut with the Film London backed coming of age film First Bite (2011) which has so far been watched over 1.7 millions times on YouTube. This was followed up by Siren (2014), a short film focusing on the sexual awakening of a woman in her early twenties. Alice: A Social Media Journey (2015) was my first non-fiction film, commissioned by the joint university research project ‘ReelLives’.
In 2017 I crowdfunded Pillow Talk which was selected for over 25 festivals and was funded a second time by Film London, to make Breathe. Made as part of the London Calling 2017 slate, it was released in festivals at the start of 2018 and picked up Best Screenplay at the Rob Knox Film Festival.
I directed my sixth short film Confessional which had its UK premier at BAFTA qualifying Underwire Festival in September 2019.
Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab 2016
Film London ‘London Calling’ 2017
BFI Network X BAFTA Crew 2017
BAFTA Crew 2018
“When watching hundreds of submissions in a year it can be easy to forget but every year there are a few rare gems that stick with you completely. Siren is one of those films. A film that still pops into my head and can take me right back to the way I felt when I first watched it. An incredible achievement and a great film, it holds a permanent place on my list of most treasured shorts that I have had the pleasure of programming.”
Jenna Dufton – Programming Coordinator at InsideOut Toronto LGBT Film Festival
UK Film Review
“Right off the bat I noticed how calm and careful Cooke’s approach was. Captured with a soft and steady hand, Siren looks stunning. It’s always a wonderful surprise when a short film has a seemingly high budget, not only lending towards the visuals, but the phenomenal talents involved…”
UK Film Review
“Astutely intimate and containing wonderful, believable characters, Cooke’s short film is a timeless journey of self discovery and friendship. Whilst the window may be brief, we witness a beautiful moment of connection that transcends the shallow concepts of social media and the like, and harks back to a time where the clarity of one’s identity could only be found by challenging yourself and those you cared about.”
Circle of Cinema – Pillow Talk @ Underwire Festival Review
“Cooke’s film does an amazing job of showing us the true power of friendship in the face of societal judgement.”