I have two wonderful sisters, but I’ve also been blessed with amazing cousins that I’ve had the pleasure of bonding with, admiring their success, and bragging about them. This blog post is a shoutout to my fashionista filmmaking cousin, Sonya Jenkins. She is an Atlanta born and raised actress, entertainment journalist, and author. Sonya just released on Amazon Shayla’s Catch, her debut book-to-film project. Congrats cousin!!!!! Movie Link
Sonya is a talented screenwriter and director who shares the drama of a modern-day love story of Shayla (Shakari Gault), an ambitious fashion exec that falls in love with a charming, but definitely a lady’s man, pro football player Calvin “CK” Moore (Malachi Mutakabbir). Much like real love, there are moments of passion, interrupted by the realities that often arise when two dynamic individuals come together. As written by the Tennessee Tribune, Shayla’s Catch is a valid and timely depiction of the competitive nature of American sports mixed with drama, romance, money, intimacy, broken hearts, and hope. The film also addresses issues around self-esteem and understanding the boundaries of a healthy relationship.
The release of Shayla’s Catch has been a goal of Sonya’s since she first presented the screenplay in 2003 at the Jamerican Film Festival. The following year, Sonya pitched the project to Robert Townsend. As we Jenkins are persistent, Sonya continued to develop Shayla’s Catch while pursuing her acting and journalism work on the red carpet for her celebrity web magazine, Sonya’s Spotlight. By keeping her eye on the prize, her efforts paid off when Ava DuVernay approached Sonya to direct a small scene for Selma. While the piece was eventually cut, Sonya was bitten by the directing bug. Sonya’s passion for directing was further cultivated while she worked as a background artist for several of Tyler Perry TV and film productions. Through these roles, Sonya honed her skills as a director.
I am so proud of my cousin for making her dream a reality. Sonya, may you continue to shine on the big screen and in life.