Forty-seven-year-old Cook says he's almost raised his $1,800 goal but lacks a few hundred bucks to put all his plan into action.
"These festivals will give me and my work exposure as a director and an actor," he said last week.
Cook's using a fundraising website to collect donations from anyone, and he says he's been surprised at encouragement through it from complete strangers.
He also said his entries into competitions around the world "expose Tupelo as a great place to make films."
Cook, who grew up in Mooreville, returned to Northeast Mississippi about four years ago after selling his busy real estate business in Atlanta, Ga.
"I had a heart attack at 43," he explained as the basis for his life change.
"After I got through the denial that the business could survive without me," he recalled, "I told my sister - Phyllis Robinson - I wanted to move back home."
To his surprise, Cook said, she told him she'd been thinking the same thing for months.
These days, they share a trailer on their brother Virgil's land west of Baldwyn near their parents, Walt and Juanita Cook. They're also close to their other brother, Brian, in Birmingham, Ala.
All this family support and a low-key lifestyle make it possible, Cook said, for him to pursue his film-making, writing and acting interests.
It wasn't always that way, he admits.
"I'd never acted in anything until 2007," he said. "But my life got kind of stagnant in Atlanta and I wanted something different.
"I found an acting class and a class to learn to speak Spanish. The sketch comedy class won."
The former high school bandsman noted that before this class, he'd never been on a stage, saying the idea "terrified me" as a very shy person.
But he got over it and ultimately fell into some film parts for Screen Actors Guild eligibility, an important portal to real film work.
Now, Cook says he's "got projects."
Last year, he staffed, directed and produced a short film, "Bitter Shoes," in Tupelo and began to gain some "buzz" with it after its Tupelo premier.
"That's when I decided I needed to get it to film festivals and started the fundraising on indiegogo.com," he explained.
Cook said that anyone who wants to know more about his push to finance these competitions can go to his website, www.kennycookacts.com.
He's also busy writing and acting in other films.
His current, big project is completion of his first screenplay, "Murano," which Cook said is nearly done.
"I've been collecting ideas and stories from my life, and it's all been rearranged to make sense," he said.
The screenplay's name comes from a type of Italian glass, which is a fusion of two other kinds.
The main story line, Cook explained, is about a friendship and one of the friends accidentally assuming the other's identity.
When it's finished, he said he'd like to cast it in Tupelo with local people to portray his characters because many of them are based on people here.
Perhaps, he said, if he can win some film festival prizes with "Bitter Shoes," he can put that cash into the new, feature-length work.
In the long view, Cook said he's pleased with how his life has changed.
"I'm just lucky I've been able to come back," Cook said. "So many people get displaced from their families and never have the chance to come back.
"I did it."