OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — In Opelousas, filmmaker EJ Tyler is using his new movie to send a message of hope to his city.

“I think it’s going to put a mirror to the face of some of the youth and some of the parents of what’s going on around here and hopefully they can look at themselves and see that we’re not supposed to live like this,” Tyler said.

Against All Odds tells the story of Big E, a man who gets out of prison and decides to send a message to his family, that people can change for the better and walk away from a life on the streets.

“Tragedy happens, his past tends to catch up with him, and while all that is going on he must remain faithful to what he told his nephew and start to straighten out these knuckleheads in the community that he had a hand in building,” Tyler said.

Tyler said the constant violence in Opelousas is what led him to write a story of redemption.

To his surprise, the project grew larger than anticipated, gaining attention by parish leaders and first responders who wanted to get involved.

“It started as a small skit, maybe 10 minutes. And it just kept growing and growing and next thing you know the St. Landry Sheriff’s department got involved and they lent some sheriff’s deputies in,” Tyler said. “Next thing you know, William’s Funeral Home was aboard, MedExpress, and then the city government and Jessie Bellard the parish president got on board.”

After six months of production and editing, Tyler hopes art can be an effective approach, showing youth violence isn’t the answer, and giving the city hope dark times won’t last forever.

“I think if I put it on a movie screen and show people let’s make being good, listening to authority, showing respect for authority figure, respecting your elders, make that cool. Respecting everybody because we’re all in this together,’ Tyler said.

Against All Odds will premiere at the Delta Grand theater on June 3.

Tickets can be purchased on the EJ Production website.

Use code “AAO” for 15% off. Against All Odds will also live stream on the website during the showing. Tyler also asks anyone who has lost a loved one to gun violence to submit their name on the website and be added to the film’s credits.