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.

A mixed-race five-year-old little girl who answers to “Hey Kid” and wearing a sailboat pendant 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 and spend the night in the library.  While walking home from the library with her friend DANIEL, 12-14, a strange man tries to grab away her pendant by force. Both children end up in the hospital. The children are moved out of the city for their own protection.

In a parallel story, after the death of her husband and son Tommy, 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 firecracker 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.  Jeff admits that he did not know that Gigi was pregnant but that after  Tommy died he went looking for her up and down the coast and couldn’t find any sign of her.  Jeff expresses no hope of finding a son or daughter. Sandra tearfully argues that hope is all she has.

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 pendant around the neck of Daniel is recognized by Jeff Harris as the one he gave to GiGi.  He looks for GiGi and a son. Watching Mariah’s form in the breaststroke, Sandra Bishop sees her daughter GiGi.
“Pearl Fisher” is a story of hope and miracles, loss and disappointment,  and ultimately the reunion of family and new beginnings. In today’s world where people are searching for family through the tool of DNA—this is a timely twist on the same story and hits home.

  • Suzanne Birrell
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    United States
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  • WIKI
    Santa Barbara, California
    January 20, 2023
  • New York City International Screenplay Awards
    New York, New York
    March 12, 2021
    Quarter Finalist
  • Inroads Fellowship

    May 17, 2023
    Quarter Finalist
  • New York Script awards
    New York
    April 20, 2023
    Best Feature Script- 1st honorable mention
Writer Biography - Suzanne Birrell

With a multi ethnic background from small town America (where the women are strong), Suzanne Birrell writes screenplays from a unique perspective. She has enjoyed some success in screenplay contests. For inspiration, 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 woman of all ages and are based on real life and actual events with albeit a bit of exaggeration.

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Writer Statement

Suzanne likes a good mystery, satirical comedies, and tear jerking dramas. Her focus is on character pieces for ensemble casts, with strong roles for women.