Beachy Floaty Thingys

A family vacation gone awry

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Post Production
Writer/Director: Amina Sutton
Producer: Crystal Isaac
Producer: Ellie Shanahan
Editor: Janna Emig
Animator: Nijah Brown
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Sisters Grace and Hope have been looking forward to this much-needed vacation to exotic Myrtle Beach, SC all year long. But their girls’ weekend gets derailed when they are asked to bring their four rowdy nieces and nephews along. Beachy Floaty Thingys is an ode to vacations gone wrong, a love letter to relatives who step in as guardians, and more importantly, a reminder that no matter what, no one can take away your joy.


It’s the summer of 1998, and sisters Grace and Hope planned a weekend sunbathing down at Myrtle Beach.

For Grace, this is her only time off work and she plans to pick up a Larenz Tate lookalike on the beach. But at a pit stop visiting family on their way to the beach, they witness an intense fight between their sister Vanessa and her husband, forcing their plan for a girls’ weekend to change. In an attempt to give the family space to heal, Hope extends an invitation to their sister Vanessa’s three rambunctious children (Aniya, Malik, and Khalil), and their introverted niece Bryanna, who happens to be staying with them. It’s from this moment on, nothing seems to go right for Grace and Hope. The guy at the beach store gives them an attitude. Bryanna won’t talk to anyone. The rest of the kids keep finding themselves in trouble. And they can’t seem to escape the dark reminders that they are in the Deep South. Frustrated by having to always be the responsible one, Hope leaves Grace to mind the kids at the worst possible moment, putting Grace’s caregiving skills to the test. Can she turn a terrible trip into an inspiring one for four Black kids whose home lives are less than ideal? This short film is a funny and warm portrait of family vacations. It’s about the resilience of joy and a celebration of fun aunties.

Meet the Filmmakers

Amina Sutton – Writer/Director
Amina Sutton is a filmmaker and producer who lives in Brooklyn. She earned her BFA in graphic design at Boston University and her MFA in screenwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has worked on projects for HGTV, FUSE TV, Apple TV, and HBO. She wrote, starred, co-produced, and co-directed The Price of Cheap Rent, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020 and has screened at over a dozen festivals including Hollyshorts, Aspen Shorts Fest, the Chicago International Film Festival, and Blackstar. It is currently screening as a part of The New Yorker’s Screening Room.

Crystal Isaac – Producer
Crystal Isaac is an independent producer of short and long form documentaries. She passionately creates content that amplifies the voices of marginalized communities. Her work has taken her everywhere from Abuja, Nigeria to Lynch, Kentucky. She has produced projects for HBO, CNN, BET, PBS and Showtime.

Crystal is a member of Queens Community Board 12, which includes southeast Jamaica, the same area where she grew up.

Ellie Shanahan – Producer
Ellie Shanahan is a born and bred New Yorker who works in the television world across both scripted and documentary. Currently she works at Barnicle Brothers, a production company based in NYC, as part of their core team. She has worked for HBO, truTV, VICE+, Discovery, independent films, and has bylines in New York Magazine. After gaining a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of St. Andrews, she hails herself as “creative-adjacent” and enjoys bringing creative visions to life.

Janna Emig – Editor
Janna Emig is an Assistant Editor and Editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked on a wide range of TV, Shorts and Feature Films including I, Tonya, Helpsters, Black Market and the upcoming Paint, in theaters April 7th!

Nijah Brown – Animator
Nijah Brown is an animator/illustrator from the Bronx. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2019 with a BFA in Animation & Illustration. After graduating she freelanced for a while, animating, coloring, and digitally painting backgrounds/props with Might Oak Grows for clients like Adult Swim and Netflix. Since then she has been animating and editing content for socials at Hogarth for clients like Applebees, Walgreens, and Modelo. In her spare time, she loves to watch cartoons, cook/bake, play video games, go to concerts, and go on long walks while listening to her favorite songs/playlists!

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