Jane Doe

Institute History

  • 1996 January Screenwriters Lab


A 24 year-old med student becomes obsessed with finding out why a beautiful young Indian woman has ended up an unclaimed body on his dissecting table. Set in the three very separate worlds of Matt Schevchenko—elite Columbia Medical School, his father's struggling diner, and the vibrant but deeply foreign world of the immigrant Indian community—JANE DOE tells the story of Matt's first connection with life when a cadaver is wheeled into his first year anatomy class. When he and his classmates discover a tattoo in Hindi on its arm, Matt is strangely and powerfully affected—affected by Maya, the once beautiful young dead woman, and increasingly certain she was murdered.

Intercut between the young doctors' slow dissection of the body and Matt's obsessive search to discover who Maya was and why she died, Matt finds a woman he might have loved, a murderer, and a truth that nearly destroys them all. Told with the moody palette of classic noir, JANE DOE is a contemporary LAURA in which an unraveling mystery opens up a search for connectedness in a disconnected world.


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