S et against the background of corrupt governments and voracious oil companies, Cooper’s Promise is the story of Sergeant Cooper Chance, Army deserter and sharpshooter, who has ended up in a West African country and wants nothing more than to go home. But he can’t, knowing he’ll be jailed, and Cooper is acutely claustrophobic.

A patriot at heart, he fled Iraq when his Commanding Officer repeatedly sent him on missions intending Cooper to be killed. He became a mercenary in Africa – the only option open to him – until the mercenaries were kicked out by the country’s ruthless dictator, Colonel Diamond. Left on his own, Cooper survives by trading diamonds stolen by children from the government-controlled mines.

Cooper meets Sadiq, a young Arab diamond merchant who is even more lost in the world than he is, having grown up in a rigid, traditional society which offers him no hope to find his true self. They fall in love, which lets each of them begin to make sense of the world and find their places in it. Sadiq’s struggle, though, has a hidden dimension: before meeting Cooper, he adopted radical Islam and swore jihad to Allah.

Huge oilfields have been discovered in the country, and the local CIA station chief, Sam Brown, in a plot to ensure America’s control over them, offers Cooper an honorable discharge and a way home if he assassinates Colonel Diamond during a visit by the U.S. Secretary of State. Cooper balks, tired of fighting ‘other people’s lousy wars.’ Cooper has his own war to fight: the need to redeem himself for failing to protect his stepsister from his predatory father, which is the reason he ran off and joined the Army in the first place. He’s befriended a teenage prostitute who, for her innate innocence, reminds Cooper of his stepsister. Unbeknownst to him, Lulay has been trafficked, and is sold again and disappears. In exchange for Sam Brown’s help in finding her, Cooper finally agrees to carry out the assassination.

The time comes for the joint appearance of Colonel Diamond and the Secretary of State, and only moments after Cooper’s shot kills the Colonel, a second assassin fatally wounds the Secretary. He recognizes the second assassin to be Munir, a friend of Sadiq’s, and he chases them back to the diamond shop where Munir is ransacking the safe.

Cooper tries to stop Munir, who has the advantage and takes aim to shoot him when Sadiq throws himself on him and is killed. Munir, ready to take a second shot at Cooper, gloats and takes too long, giving Sam Brown time to show up and kill him instead.

Though the youth he loved is dead, Cooper has fulfilled his mission and redeemed himself by saving Lulay, and can now go home.

 

Grand Prize, StoryPros Int’l

Grand Prize, WriteMovies Int’l

Grand Prize, Story Bodyguard Int’l

Best Role for Male Lead, Fresh Voices International

First Place for Original Drama, Houston WorldFest

First Place, Hollywood Screenwriting Institute Screenwriting Competition

Top 10%, Nicholl Fellowships for Screenwriting