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On the Hunt

Santa Rosa native stars in new wilderness thriller

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NATIVE SON  As a young actor, Marshall Cook performed at Santa Rosa’s all-girl Ursuline High School because Cardinal Newman had no drama department.
  • NATIVE SON As a young actor, Marshall Cook performed at Santa Rosa’s all-girl Ursuline High School because Cardinal Newman had no drama department.

Director, producer, writer and actor Marshall Cook has spent the last decade making commercials and films in Los Angeles, though he got his start on stages and behind cameras while growing up in Santa Rosa and attending Cardinal Newman High School.

"There actually wasn't a theater department at Newman; you had to do it at Ursuline, the girls' school," Cook says. "And even then I had to play five male parts because it wasn't terribly popular."

Also an athlete, Cook attended Occidental College in Southern California, majoring in film and playing football. In 2003, he started landing small roles in movies like Jeepers Creepers 2 and television shows like JAG. He also began writing, directing and producing his own films, eventually matching his love of film and football in the 2011 feature, Division III: Football's Finest, an ensemble comedy about a football team at a small liberal arts college.

That film was the first time Cook worked with Zack Wilcox, who set up lights as a gaffer. Last year, when Wilcox was casting his directorial debut, a survival drama titled Hunting Lands, he tapped Cook to star in the lead role. This week, Wilcox, Cook and other members of the film's cast and crew premiere Hunting Lands with a special screening on March 4 at Santa Rosa's Roxy Stadium 14.

"I think this is actually the first movie where I'm the lead actor and have zero to do with the writing or directing," says Cook, whose production company, Convoy Entertainment, creates broadcast and digital content for several companies.

In Hunting Lands, Cook portrays an isolated war veteran whose attempt to escape society by living in the woods unravels when he finds a body on his property and becomes entangled in a game of cat-and-mouse with an unknown enemy.

For the March 4 screening, Cook will offers his insights with North Bay movie fans and filmmakers. "Hopefully, we can share our experience," Cook says, "and pull back the curtain a bit on indie filmmaking."

'Hunting Lands' screens on Sunday, March 4, at Roxy Stadium 14, 85 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. 7pm. $6. 707.525.8909.

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