The Daughter

A day at the beach turns sinister when ten-year-old Lana spies her father's violent interactions with a young woman.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Development
Writer/Director: Mary Ann Anane
Producer: Nicole Palermo
Producer: Nneka Mbadugha
Director of Photography: Frankie Kroon
Instagram: @daughterbymaa
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A day at the beach turns sinister when ten-year-old Lana spies her father’s violent interactions with a young woman.


On a lazy summer day, Thomas takes his ten-year-old daughter Lana to the beach despite Lana’s mother’s objections. Soon into a game of marco/polo, the ‘polos’ stop. Instead, Lana’s father gets out of the water. He says he’s grabbing something. But Lana sees The Girl sunbathing near their towels. Her dad strikes up a conversation with The Girl and gets closer and closer to her. Lana’s attempts to distract herself with sandcastles don’t settle her.

Suddenly, Thomas’s hand graces The Girl’s thigh and starts to move up The Girl’s body. His nails sink into her skin, then he’s on top of her, dragging her clothes off. The Girl screams for help but no one notices. Except for Lana. She sprints up, grabs her bucket of sand, and runs yelling ‘Stop!’ Lana throws the sand onto her father and hits him with the bucket, trying to free The Girl. But then reality hits.

The Girl wasn’t being attacked. Thomas wasn’t attacking. Instead, he’s dirty and pissed. He scolds Lana, who reveals she only wanted to save The Girl. But ‘save her from what?’ Neither of them answers. Thomas’s attempts to explain to his daughter that he’s a good man. Yet the damage seems to be done. Lana knows who he is.

Meet the Filmmakers

Mary Ann Anane – Writer/Director
Mary Ann Anane is a Ghanaian-born, New Jersey-raised screenwriter. She is a 2021 SF Film Rainin Fellow, a 2021 Sundance Screenwriters Lab Fellow, a 2020 Athena Feature Lab Fellow, and a 2020 Film Independent’s Project Involve Fellow.

Nicole Palermo – Producer
Nicole Palermo is a Producer in both the narrative and documentary worlds. She partners with Imagine Documentaries, where she has worked on the 2024 Cannes Classics feature Jim Henson Idea Man and Apple TV+’s The Super Models. In the narrative space, Nicole produced Seoul Switch by Liann Kaye and is currently the Co-Producer on Tender Thoughts as part of Indeed’s Rising Voices Program. Tender Thoughts will have its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2024.

Nneka Mbadugha – Producer
Nneka Mbadugha is a UK-born Nigerian Creative Producer. She most recently worked as a Creative Executive at 30KFT, where she oversaw a slate of Feature Film and Television projects. While at 30KFT she served as a member of the development and production team for Ponyboi, which premiered at 2024’s Sundance Film Festival.

Frankie Kroon – Director of Photography
Frankie holds an MFA in Cinematography from the American Film institute. Her work was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; won the Grand Prix at Hollyshorts and screened at Tribeca and New Orleans to name a few. She was a DP fellow in Film Independent’s Project Involve 2020.

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