Script File

Stages Screenplay

Dalila, a young latina woman, loses her husband Scott early in the pandemic when he contracts COVID. As she processes her loss, Dalila goes through the 5 stages of grief: isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance but she is not alone.

When her friends and family try to reach out to help, Dalila rejects them, wanting to process her grief and remember her husband in peace. A presence in her home interrupts her solitude and starts to toy with her. Believing it might be her husband’s spirit, she isolates herself even further. After Dalila’s Friend Brooke tries to cheer her up, Dalila kicks her out of the house, fueling the unknown entity. As she begs for her husband to come back, the presence reveals itself and promises to take her to him.

Realizing that the only way to be with her husband is through death, she fights the entity with help of her husband’s spirit. Escaping her grief with a bottle of pills, Dalila calls her Mother for help, apologizing for her absence. Lying on her bed, she says goodbye to her husband and finally accepts his passing as sirens approach her home.

  • Claire Haines
  • Project Type:
    Short Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Claire Haines

Claire Haines is an award winning Latina producer and video editor from Half Moon Bay, CA.

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Writer Statement

Stages dives into loss, love, and depression, all the while having to do it alone during a pandemic. After losing my father in 2018, I watched my mother go through the different stages of grief, all the while going through my own process. We had very different responses and were always in different stages, but it taught me real loss. All of sudden, sad songs made sense, I could relate to more characters in the films I watched, and could empathize with anyone who has lost someone important to them. Luckily, my family was able to process our loss together.

Then 2020 came around and the pandemic hit. COVID19 was everywhere, people I loved were having to go through their hardships alone. At first I was optimistic that it would go quickly, but as time passed, I started to feel a different type of grief. I was lucky. I had friends that stayed in contact, I had a husband, family close by during the pandemic. But I couldn't help imagining what it would be like to go through all of this alone.

Stages combines my own experience with the pandemic, with my experiences of loss, and certain scenes are inspired by real events. My best friend had COVID when it first broke out and she was not allowed to go to the hospital until she could no longer speak. I tested positive well into the pandemic and when I told my husband to stay away, he thought I was joking and tried to step forward to comfort me. I instinctively took a step back, trying to keep distance between us. It was one of the loneliest times of my life, despite my husband only being down the hall.

People handle grief differently, but it's completely different when you have to do it alone. When you're willing to do anything to have just one more moment with the person you lost. Stages captures a moment in time, that we will hopefully all learn from and be able to move forward.