Pearl Fisher

A fruitless search for a missing woman leads a hired detective down a rabbit hole of secrets to surprise revelations involving his own family.

Pearl Fisher is a search for family through unexpected twists and turns.

A mixed race five year old little girl who answers to “Hey Kid” wanders into a Fire Station to await the return of her mother who never shows. Sent into foster care, given the name MARIAH FOSTER (10-12), she frequently runs away to hang out at the fire station where Fire Chief TERESA CORTEZ , 30s, takes her under wing and aids in the search for her mother.

When an old acquaintance reveals that Mariah’s mother was white, and when last seen, pregnant, Chief Cortez heads back to the hospital and discovers records that show Mariah’s mother, listed as Pearl Fisher, died having a baby.

In a parallel story, after the death of her husband, Sandra Bishop, 60s, white, hires private investigator KENNY MacCAYNE, 32, black, to find GiGi, the daughter her husband disowned.

Following leads to Trinidad, Kenny discovers that Gigi had a baby. In addition he discovers he himself was adopted and his twin brother, believed to have died in a boating accident on a sailboat called The Pearl Fisher, was likely the father of GiGi’s baby.

Kenny’s daughter ESTHER, 11, decides they should see the place where her recently discovered - though deceased - biological grandfather built boats. They explore a little town where everyone seems to recognize Kenny because his twin brother, JEFF HARRIS (not identical) is still very much alive.

Esther and Mariah enter the same race at a middle school swim meet where Mariah reminds COACH HANNAH, 50s, of a student she once had. The sailboat pendent around the neck of Mariah’s friend is recognized by Jeff Harris as the one he gave to GiGi. Watching Mariah’s form in the breast stroke, Sandra Bishop sees her daughter GiGi.

Pearl Fisher is a story of hope and miracles, loss and disappointment, and ultimately reunion of family and new beginnings. Sandra Bishop finds a granddaughter she didn't know she had. Jeff Harris finds a daughter and a brother he didn't know he had. And Mariah gets a home complete with a father, grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousin.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
John David Washington
America Ferrera
Catherine O'Hara
In the Vein Of:
Winter's Bone
Gone, Baby, Gone
Author Bio:
With a multi-ethnic background from small-town America (where the women are strong), Suzanne Birrell writes screenplays from a unique perspective. Suzanne teaches middle school (where children are wild and hormones rage), plays bass in a country band, and generally observes life as inspiration for her stories. All of her screenplays feature great roles for women of all ages and are based on real-life and actual events albeit with a bit of exaggeration.

Show More

Contest Results:
Wiki Contest (Finalist) [2023]
Atlanta (Semifinalist, Atlanta Screenplay Awards) [2022]
Table Read (Semifinalist) [2021]
Show More