Multi-talented Christina Cooper takes on the big screen with her new film, “South Central Love”; a story of two people from different worlds fighting for each other and love.
“South Central Love” is written, directed and produced by Cooper, starring herself as Bria and Jamal Henderson as Davonte. The 25-year-old filmmaker created this film with intentions to aid in the fight to end gun violence on the streets of Los Angeles.
Having experienced a loss due to gun violence first hand, Cooper chose to create a film that was both relatable and inspiring. “I wanted to combine the passion with the purpose,” she says believing her purpose was always to help others. Beginning with acting, she grew her platform beyond on-screen, to full-on producing films that tell stories to create change.
“I’m still finding myself, but I feel like when you find your purpose and you know what you’re here to do, it all comes together like you stop questioning so much.”
Using her interest and love of film, she began making visual representations to shine a light on issues and inspire a transformation of the community. “In order for me to make a change, I needed some sort of voice,” Cooper states, explaining how she herself wants to be able to inspire and influence others in a positive light using film.
“I made a vow to myself that I’m going to make sure that I make films that mean something to me. I always want to make sure that there’s a purpose behind it towards my community.”
Knowing the streets of L.A. from a first-hand view, Cooper has been able to overcome some of the hardships many face. Finding her passion for acting and film, her goals are now to help as many people chase their dreams and create opportunities many can only see on television.
“I feel like if I can give kids and teens an opportunity to be creative, that’ll keep them off the street,” she says. With goals of one day opening a performing arts center in the Crenshaw district to give the youth a place to go rather than roaming empty streets. “I think that’s the best way to influence them, show them there are other ways to make money and just be happy, stay inspired and be around people doing what you love.”
Reworking the film based on a short she created in 2018 entitled, “Loyalty,” “South Central Love” features many actors from the original film. Following her purpose of helping others, Cooper reached out via Instagram to find aspiring actors to fill necessary spots. Being a growing artist herself, she believes it is her duty to help as many other artists achieve their goals as well. “If I’m going to try put myself on, I want to bring other people with me; especially us people of color.” Quoting the famous phrase, “if one of us wins, we all win.”
Being a woman of her word, Cooper worked day and night on South Central Love to bring the film to life. Working around the clock making call sheets, managing the cast, crew, and vendors all while learning her lines and funding the film on her own. Nevertheless, she prevailed, fearlessly stepping into her purpose.
For Cooper, this stood as a true lesson and moment of healing. “South Central Love” highlighted her ability to wear multiple hats and overcome. “My main thing is to make some sort of change, I really want people to get something from this,” she says. As a young writer, actor, and director, Cooper believes this message will touch audiences just as much as it did the cast.
“South Central Love” was created from a place of purpose, philanthropy, and love. Growing up in Los Angeles, finding love, and maturing into adulthood, “South Central Love” tells a story so closely connected to realities many face each day. The film, which is in the running for an Oscar nomination is bound to spark the mind of those in attendance.
Believing fully in herself and her purpose and living by the quote “fear is an allusion” Christina Cooper and “South Central Love” make their way to theaters on August 2, 2019, a major dream come true.
“Believe in yourself more than anyone else,” and in a note to her younger self, she adds, “girl you better go out there and get it!”
To find out information about “South Central Love” and screening information visit https://www.southcentrallovemovie.com/ and follow the instagram @southcentrallovethemovie. You can also follow Christina Cooper on Instagram @thechristinacooper.