The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the North Fork TV Festival have named Maxwell Pitagno’s screenplay DISTEMPER as winner of the inaugural Science + Tech Pilot Script Competition. The Festival will produce the pilot episode of DISTEMPER, which could go on to be developed into a full series. The pilot episode will premiere at the fourth annual North Fork TV Festival taking place in October in Greenport, New York.
DISTEMPER is based on the true story of pathologist and LGBT icon Louise Pearce (1885-1959). Pearce helped to develop a treatment for the lethal disease colloquially known as African sleeping sickness. She did so while she was working at the Rockefeller institute during the first half of the twentieth century. Pearce was the first female research pathologist Rockefeller ever hired.
Award-winning filmmaker Elias Plagianos will direct and produce the pilot. Writer Maxwell Pitagno has a background in science; he graduated from Stony Brook University in 2018 with a degree in Biology. "I'm ecstatic to be selected," Pitagno said. "I'm hugely thankful to the Sloan Foundation and the North Fork TV Festival for the opportunity to bring this story about an amazing woman and scientist to life."
The North Fork TV Festival will begin on October 4, 2019. Stay tuned to Science & Film for more as DISTEMPER develops.