Filmmaker

Sophia Costanzo Films

DIRECTOR'S REEL

MEET THE DIRECTOR | SOPHIA COSTANZO

The Culver Plaza Theater – a dinky, dilapidated, neighborhood theater with torn seats that creaked every time you shifted, stale popcorn and flat soda, and classic malfunctions during screenings – this was my weekend haunt with my dad. Once the movie started rolling, the world of the cinema became my microcosm and the flaws of the theater disappeared.

The Culver Plaza Theater has since closed. When I think of my time there, I am reminded of the larger-than-life murals of great actors that lined the walls and the impactful movies that stirred a passion within me, ultimately shaping what I want to pursue. This tiny, endearing theater served as my first classroom and the movies served as my most influential teachers.​ It was here that celluloid heroes came to life. When I took my first film class with the American Film Institute in eighth grade, I knew that I wanted to be a director, and started to dream of a world where my own films would play on a screen like the one at the Culver Plaza Theater. ​​

Since then, I went on to receive my BA in Film, Television, and Theater at the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in film. Upon graduation, I received the Broad Avenue Filmmakers Award, which is presented to a graduating senior for the best work in film production. In 2022, I completed my MFA in Film and TV Production with a concentration in Narrative Film Directing at Loyola Marymount University. Upon graduation, I received the award for Film Production Student of the Year. 

As a Cuban-American writer and director, my films focus on bringing more Latina representation to the screen, exploring themes of immigration and generational storytelling, strong female leads, the idea of what it means to leave home, and also women in sports, which is very much inspired by my own time playing competitive sports. I have worked with actors and non actors, incorporated both English and Spanish into my films, and draw from my own experiences to tell the stories featured in my films. 

Movies have taught me how to stand up for my beliefs, challenge injustices, form relationships, cope with what I'm going through, and so much more. My own films will help others to do the same. And to think, it all started in the theater with broken, squeaky chairs.

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