Script File


A single mother struggles to balance a business and family life with a new romance when her young adult daughter's increasingly strange behavior is diagnosed as schizophrenia. She must choose between the love of her life and the life of her child. Inspired by a true story.

ROSE HAMEL (45) has a pretty good life. She is a successful business owner and her children, ZOEY (19), and JACK (9) are healthy and thriving. Her life becomes even more promising when TOM GIBSON (42) a classically trained Canadian pianist and film editor, shows up to edit a film at her post production facility. The two begin dating. 

Zoey, a theatre major at UCLA, is smoking pot, staying out late and spending more time than Rose would like with her less than desirable boyfriend, MARCO. Rose attributes much of Zoey’s antics to teenage rebellion, but her behavior becomes increasing bizarre. First she freaks out during a theater production - forgetting her lines and fleeing the stage in the middle of the performance. Next, Jack tells Rose that Zoey is talking to herself. 

Meanwhile, as Rose and Tom’s relationship heats up, so do problems at home. Their romantic New Year’s Eve away is marred when Rose gets a panicked call from Jack saying that Zoey is passed out and has a gun. They immediately return home to a desperate Zoey who confides in her mother that she’s not sure what is going on with her.

After Zoey gets in a car accident, her physician suggests that Rose make an appointment with a psychiatrist. But because she tests positive for marijuana, Zoey is put in a chemical dependency program. Rose knows that Zoey’s behavior cannot be simply attributed to smoking pot - she’s dropped out of school, alienated all her friends and she has become so erratic that Jack is afraid of her. When Zoey trashes her room and threatens to slit her wrists, Rose has no choice but to have her committed. Unfortunately, Zoey doesn’t stay in the hospital long - she calls her father who takes her home with him. Within days, he can’t handle her and sends her back to a frustrated Rose.

Rose suspects mental illness. Desperate to get help for her daughter, she goes to a private psychiatrist who gives her the diagnosis of schizophrenia. She’s put on medication and joins a support group. Things start to improve until Zoey stops taking her medication. Her voices return, the chaos returns. In the midst of the madness, Rose discovers that she’s pregnant.

Although she loves Tom and would love another child, Tom thinks this is not the time. Rose terminates the pregnancy.

Zoey goes back on medication, gets a job and has a new circle of friends from her support group. A sense of normalcy seems to be returning until one of her friends commits suicide. Zoey runs away and when Rose eventually finds her she is dirty, disheveled and out of her mind, and is committed once again.

Rose’s life has become too much for Tom to deal with. Though he loves Rose, he can’t handle the chaos her family brings to his life. Rose is ultimately forced to make a choice between the “love of her life” and the “life of her child.”

  • Susan Klos
    Cesar & Max
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Chicago ScriptWorks
    Chicago, Ill.
    First Place, Staged Reading
  • Hollywood Screenwriting
    Hollywood, California
    April 8, 2016
    First Place
  • New Visions
    Los Angeles, California
    First Place
  • Beverly Hills Film Festival
    Beverly Hills, California
    April 8, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    April 8, 2016
    First Place
  • Catalina Film Festival
    Avalon, Catalina
  • Creative Screenwriting

    April 26, 2021
  • Chicago Indie Film Awards

    April 26, 2021
    First Place
  • Wiki Screenplay Competition

    March 2021
  • Wallachia Int'l Film Festival

    September 2020
  • Bucharest Int'l Film Festival
    Bucharest, Hungary
    June 1, 2017
  • Wildsound Feedback Film and Screenplay

    September 1, 2017
  • Film Festival KZ

    September 15, 2017
  • Creative Screenplay Unique Voices Awards

    June 16, 2021
    First Place
  • London New Wave Cinema

    February 3, 2022
    Best Screenplay
  • Screenplay Festival

    January 15, 2022
  • Only The Best

    January 25, 2022
  • Toronto Independent Film Festival
    January 24, 2022
  • Cosmopolitan Int'l Film Festival
    January 19, 2022
  • LA Indies
    Los Angeles
    December 28, 2021
  • Santa Barbara International Screenwriting
    Santa Barbara, CA
    May 11, 2022
  • New York International Women's
    New Your
    April 12, 2022
Writer Biography - Susan Klos

Susan Klos came from New York to Los Angeles in 1975 to attend the American Film Institute as a fellow in cinematography, but put her budding career behind the camera on hold when she started a family. In 1978 she formed Big Time Picture Company, Inc., her post production business which grew into LA’s first independent post production facility for studio, independent and documentary feature films. Big Time’s West Los Angeles facility included 40 office/editorial suites, a professional 35mm/digital screening room, Avid and Final Cut digital editing equipment rentals, Apple computer sales and digital post production technical support and consulting.

Hundred of films posted at Big Time including Oliver Stone’s Academy Award winning “Born on the Fourth of July,” John Frankenheimer’s “Ronin,” Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” and “For Love of the Game,” the Farrelly Brothers “There’s Something About Mary,” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want,” John Dahl’s “Joy Ride,” Curtis Hanson’s “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle,” Leon Ichaso’s “El Cantante,” Gregory Nava’s “Selena,” and the documentary classics, “Dogtown” and “Riding Giants.”

In 2009, Susan executive produced, along with Gary Foster and Joe Wright, “Lost Angels”, a feature documentary that explores the issues of mental illness and addiction in this portrait of life on the streets of Los Angelesʼ Skid Row. Directed by Thomas Napper and produced by Agi Orsi, “Lost Angels” premiered to rave reviews at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. It opened theatrically in Los Angeles at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood, December 2012. Cinema Libre is distributing.

Susan is writer of the feature drama script, “Voices”. Inspired by a true story, “Voices” is an original screenplay about a single mother who struggles to balance a business and a new romance with family life when her young adult daughterʼs increasingly bizarre behavior is diagnosed as schizophrenia. “Voices” is winner of several screenwriting awards including first place in the New Hampshire Film Festival, Chicago ScriptWorks, GAFFERS, Spec Scriptacular, and New Vision screenplay competitions among others.

In 2010, Susan graduated from UCLA Anderson School Management Development for Entrepreneurs Certificate Program and 2011, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting having completed two feature comedy screenplays, “Cesar and Max” and “I Hate You...a Love Story.”

“Cesar and Max” is a feature comedy about two teenaged boys and best friends; one the son of an illegal Mexican immigrant and the other a spoiled middle-class attorney’s son, who escape problems at school and at home and run away to Mexico in search of Cesar’s long lost father. Along their eventful journey, they discover the value of friendship and family. “Cesar and Max” has been a finalist or winner in several screenplay competitions including Screenplay Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, and ScreenCraft Comedy.

Susan has another comedy screenplay in the works, “I Hate You… a Love Story.” What happens when you wake up one morning in your spouse’s body - the person you’re in a nasty divorce with and you hate the most. And to complicate things even more, having the body and private parts of the opposite sex? Fun stuff.

Susan stays involved in the community as an advocate for mental health and homeless issues and a presenter for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for law enforcement on crisis intervention. She is also involved with global projects having written a successful grant from BEST, the Belize Sustainable Tourism Board, to help bring ecotourism to economically depressed southern Belize.

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Writer Statement

"Voices" has been on the shelf for several years and was recently dusted off and updated.
One reviewer said,"Voices is a gripping and topical story of staggering relevance to an untapped mass audience."
It continues to do well in competitions.