SHORTS COMPETITION

ACROSS THE TRACKS

Director, Writer & Cinematographer: Micheal Cooke

Writer & Producer: Kimberly James

Two African American sisters grow up in racially charged 1960s Georgia. But one is born with fair skin and when schools integrate in their small town, she decides to change her destiny - by passing for white. Years later, both sisters, living very separate lives, are brought together again by the death of their mother in the small town of their youth. As they lay their mother to rest, the past rises up to meet them and we witness the moment that tore their family apart. This film tackles issues of identity, colorism, peer pressure and bullying and explores the damage that one momentary lapse in judgment can have on an entire life. 

“ A promising debut packing a resonant and unflinching wallop.”

- Geoffrey Fletcher, screenwriter of the film PRECIOUS

An Atlanta native, Michael Cooke began his career at Turner Broadcasting, parent company to notable networks like CNN and Cartoon Network. They put him to work shooting all kinds of brand content and with his unique perspective and strong work ethic, it wasn’t long before he took the lead on projects as Director of Photography. Turner gave him the opportunity to hone his skills, but music videos and commercials crafted Mike’s shooting style. His first feature film, GOD LOVES THE FIGHTER, was filmed on location in Trinidad and won Best Narrative feature at the 2013 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. His first NY feature HOME:____ has received more than 10 awards around the world and is where he met his producing partner, Kimberly. Mike has shot for clients and brands all over the world, including upstart interactive software companies and Billboard 100 artists who trust him to execute their vision and bring their story to life. 

Kimberly James is a Writer and Producer with more than a decade of experience in international TV & Film. Born and raised in the Midwest, she spent half her life moving to Asia, Africa and different parts of the US, and has worked or wandered in close to 50 countries. Three of her concepts were official selections in major TV pitch competitions in Asia. Her first feature film SANDCASTLE premiered at Cannes and her first NY feature HOME:_____ (where she met Michael) has won more than 10 awards while traveling the film festival circuit this past year. Kimberly has worked with film greats such as Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Anna Kendrick, Richard LaGravenese and Ed Burns and has learned great lessons in storytelling from all of them. She recently produced a James Franco directed feature THE LONG HOME. Various seasons of THE AMAZING RACE she has worked on have won 5 awards internationally, including an Emmy Award for THE AMAZING RACE AUSTRALIA. She has dangled off of skyscrapers and snuggled up to cheetahs, but she counts this film as her greatest leap of faith. Kimberly is a member of the Producer's Guild of America and is based in New York City.