Logline: After a brutal attack on her family, a semi-deaf teenager will have to trust her Native American uncle's teachings of the "old ways" in dog protection to expose a long-standing organization in the South.

After her brother's death and the bombing of her family's store, Zia Stapleton will fight for her life to expose her family members' killers. With so much going in the hospital, it seems everyone is after her. Zia's doctor convinces a family member to get her out of the hospital after a nurse tries to kill her.

Zia's only chance to communicate is to learn sign and the Cherokee languages from her uncle. After he shows her how to use the dogs to protect her, she's all in. The explosion might have caused her to lose her hearing but not her determination. Zia drops the bomb on her uncle when she exposes the truth about who murdered her brother.

Meanwhile, Officer Blu uses a Klans' son, Peter, to seek and find the girl so his hands won't get dirty. However, Peter's father, Mitch, wants to push his dope and become more influential in the Klan. Nothing is working, and now there's a new plan - track down the doctor to get to Zia and her uncle.

Peter and his friends infiltrate the doctor's apartment building. But plans change when the doctor ends up killing the two boys in her apartment. However, Zia's uncle doesn't realize he was stabbed in the fight with Peter and soon dies. Things get even messier when Mitch sees his dead son and African American protesters come to support the doctor. Using the media, Mitch gets interviewed, which brings more members of the KKK to find the girl. Trying to get help for Zia's uncle, the doctor gets blindsided. As she awakens from the smelling salt, the doctor continues to talk to Officer Blu, things aren't making any sense, and she figures out he's in on it.

Bulford's deputy overhears their conversation about their past love affair. Officer Blu's deputy takes him out for being a "nigger-lover" then heads upstairs to kill the doctor. But she turns the table on him and handcuffs him to the terrace. Outside, there's a lot of tension between the cops and protestors; the doctor runs downstairs to stop the riot. The doctor is thru the front doors, and her luggage flies in the air as she falls.

Mitch and a few of his Klan members are ten mins away, but Zia is ready. Zia has already taken two of his men out but gains her hearing in the brawl. She uses one of them as bait. Mitch arrives on the scene with his posse. Zia and the dogs are taking down the members one by one. Two Black guys who followed Mitch take out two of his men to help Zia level the playing field. Mitch holds Zia's small dog, who is also deaf. Zia tries to buy some time, but it's too late. The dogs howl out of respect for the fallen dog. Zia is a gymnast and uses her ability to destroy Mitch and the rest of the Klansmen.

In court, Mitch is in a wheelchair and is convicted due to a secret witness who came forth. Now Zia and her two dogs are free because no one knew the lawyer and judge are married and part of Zia's family. But is it over?

Zia enjoys her time in Colorado. But in the far distance, someone is taking pictures of Zia and her protective dogs.

  • Aliya Jackson
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Action, Drama
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Aliya Jackson
    Los Angeles, CA
Writer Biography - Aliya Jackson

When a writer takes pen to paper, their imagination and passion, yet tenacious of what you are about to experience is what keeps you on the edge of your seat.

This influential storyteller’s ability to blend real life in her screenplays creates limitless stories. She’s the type of writer, who gets to “the core” of her characters, as well as, have you escape into a world where there are no boundaries of time and place.

“Cover” was just that… controversial, raw, enticing, and real! Her versatile concept was to take a devoted man, who only wanted the best for his family, struggling on the “down low.” Released and presented at the 16th Annual Pan African Film Festival in 2008 some of the cast included, Vivica Fox, Aunjanue Ellis, Razaaq Adodi, Patty LaBelle, Leon, Mya and Lou Gossett Jr. This 3.6 million dollars independent film took her one month to write the script and 10 months to get produced and distributed through AIS. Currently airing on BET and TV One, her motivation for this film was to inspire and bring awareness to various individuals in the entertainment industry.

What sets her apart from other writers, she feels is a “gift”. “For me, my world was veterinary medicine. Then all of a sudden, I’m writing short stories and my first one turns into a movie… wow! When I write, it just flows. Writing the story of “Cover,” let’s just say it was 5 a.m. when I was done. My room became my movie. And don’t get me started on the Thesaurus… now, I love playing with words… I knew then I was steered on the right path.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Aliya Jackson. Her “drive” propels her to write breathtaking stories that are real and soulful weather their edgy, dramatic, funny, or gritty. So watch out for this new talented screenwriter who’s also known as 500 Hungry Gorillas.

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Writer Statement

In college, I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. I would have never thought God would change my dreams in a blink of an eye. After seeing Ophra Show for the second time on the subject of "Men On The Down Low," I felt people weren't comprehending their journey. It began with a 5-page "raw" story that took to the crack for dawn to write. After great reviews from people, I sent it to Bill Duke, and then it took off. The script called "Invisible" at the time and took 1 month to write. In 8 months, it was produced by AIS and Duke Media. I couldn't believe "Cover" was now in selected theaters and the Pan African Film Festival, which was sold out. I love to blend reality into my writing with just a twist. Hook your audience = perfection!