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Exclusive: Listen To Director Ya’Ke Smith & Cast Talk “Wolf” Controversial Topic & Why It’s A Must-See

Exclusive: Listen To Director Ya'Ke Smith & Cast Talk "Wolf" Controversial Topic & Why It's A Must-See

We have been following Ya’Ke Smith‘s powerful feature film debut Wolf, since we announced its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. After its screening Tambay posted a great review of it; make sure to read it HERE if you haven’t by now. We’re hoping the film gets picked up by the right distributor soon. We’ll definitely keep you updated with any new developments regarding that.

Last night, I had the pleasure to speaking with writer/director Smith, actor Jordan Cooper, who is brilliant in this acting debut in the lead role of Carl, and the lovely Mikala Gibson, who plays Carl’s mother Nona in the film.

Listen to the 30 minutes of the interview below, in which Smith, Cooper and Gibson talk about the inspiration for the film, tackling a controversial and polarizing topic in the black community, its message, creating multi-dimensional characters and more.

Listen now!

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Impressed with the actors and director, I'm inspired, can't wait to witness the impact this film will have on others.


I needed to listen to this podcast for several reasons. First, the written word does not convey enough details, emotions, motives and "voices" to soothe my analitical soul. Having said that, after reading Tambay's review, I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to see this film. In fact, I said (in the comment section) that I wouldn't pay to see Wolf. Okay, although Tambay and Vanessa raved about this film, I am not very trusting of "reviews". However, as the world turns and having listened to those involved in this film, I've been turned out :-). I needed to "feel" and hear it from the horses mouth. It's now on my "gotta see" list. Let me explain. I am not in the crowd of those who cry for "more" fun and light entertainment. As Ya'Ke said, there's room for all genre of film. I like it all… from the 40's to the present, I'll search far and wide for films that move me. Whether it's comedy, drama, suspense or whatever, I don't pigeonhole myself in a corner. But now we're talking about a film on "The Black Church". Well, like Ya'Ke, I was also raised in The Black Church (several preachers in my family). So first and foremost, in regards to this film, I needed to know the direction, motives and "angle" of the film and the director (I asked these same questions about Russ Parr's The Under Shepherd). Consequently, I loved the fact that Ya' Ke said he grew up in the Black Church and was raised by a single mother. Those small facts told me he was coming from a positive frame of reference. I was not and I am not interested in seeing a film which points fingers at the Black Church. Nor was I interested in seeing a one dimensional melodrama that did not open the door to resolutions. So I was pleased to here Mr Smith open this discussion by saying he feels the Black Church has done wonderful things for the black community. So he had my nose open. Then I heard the young actor, Jordan Cooper say he wasn't a "professional". That grabbed me. I could hear the wonderment in his voice. That told me that he was going to work hard, do the research necessary to bring something real to the role of Carl. That reminds me, it was interesting to hear where each of the actors and the director, acquired their inspirations (chat rooms and such). Hey, Oprah & Tyler's name even hit the floor. Anyway, as the conversation continued, I heard this film speaks to the issues of why and how the "abused" become the "abuser". That's deep and real. That's a subject that's rarely talked about because for many, they hear "justification" and "excuses". Nope, many folks (most) would rather hear "KILL THAT SOB. HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING AND I DON'T WANT TO HEAR HIS STORY!". This film also appears to go outside the standard lines of the abuser, abused and the ripple affect. Yeah, as with any "addiction" or wayward activity, the storm covers and affects the entire "family". The pain goes deep and takes no prisoners. So, in short, it appears Ya'Ke and his crew are working with something and I am going to give them a look-see. Having said that, since I do not live in a big city, I don't know how I'll ever be able to view the film? Curses, trumped again :-(

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