Maxwell Pitagno, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2019, Science + Tech Script Award, North Fork TV Festival 

Project Type: TV Pilot 

Genre: Historical Fiction 

Length: 18 minutes 

Field of Science: Epidemiology, Pathology 

Stage: Completed 


Set in New York and the Belgian Congo in 1920, Distemper follows pathologist and LGBTQ pioneer Louise Pearce as she ventures from the safety of her lab into the jungles and cities of the Belgian Congo, scarred from decades of brutal occupation and subjugation. In her desperate quest to understand and treat a disease that is poised to kill millions, Dr. Pearce will be forced to make decisions that push medical and ethical boundaries as well as ally herself with the very industry that is responsible for this pandemic and witness first-hand the carnage inflicted by a genocide that has largely been forgotten by the western world all while racing against the clock to stop a disease poised to kill millions.