Jen Zhao, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2020, Screenwriting Award, UCLA 

Project Type: Feature 

Genre: Drama 

Length: 96 pages 

Field of Science: Cetology 

Stage: Development 


Based on a real NASA-funded, drug-fueled experiment in the 60s. Under the helm of Leslie, an LSD-obsessed scientist, Anna, a queer Asian-American woman, lives in a house half-filled with water, which she shares with Peter, a young bottlenose dolphin. Anna has been tasked with the job of teaching Peter human speech, which she diligently practices with him day in and day out, as Leslie becomes increasingly intertwined with various psychedelics. The more Anna gets to know Peter, the more she is astounded by his intelligence and humanity, and starts to question the morality and rigor of the experiment. When she observes dolphins in the wild clearly communicating with one another, she advocates for Peter’s release and for the study of intraspecies communication between dolphins, but Leslie, strengthened by his newfound cult of followers, has other plans.