Palka was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland and moved to New York City at age 17 to study at David Mamet and William H. Macy's Atlantic Theater Company.
Marianna wrote, directed and stars alongside Jason Ritter, Mark Webber, Charles Durning and Tom Arnold in the award winning love story, "Good Dick". The film screened in the Dramatic Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to be screened at numerous US film festivals as well as festivals across the globe. The film premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Film Festival, where Marianna was honored with the New Director's Award by Sean Connery. Good Dick was self released in the US to much success in 2009 by Palka and her co-producers, Jason Ritter, Jen Dubin and Cora Olson.
At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Marianna was a Sloan Juror with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She also performed in Nora Ephron's critically acclaimed play "Love Loss and What I Wore" at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Palka can be seen in Peter Mullen's 2011 BAFTA award winning film "Neds" and is the lead role in director Jeremiah Jones independent film "Restive", which won the Audience Award at the 2011 Austin Film Festival and was nominated for Best Actress and Best Feature Film at the 2012 Charlotte Film Festival.
Marianna was seen in two short films at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. "Spoonful" by director Jenee LaMarque and in Bryce Dallas Howard's second film "When You Find Me", executive produced by Ron Howard for the Canon sponsored Project Imagina8tion. Both films can be seen at the Newport Beach Film Festival Spring 2012. Palka recently directed a music video for Moby in Los Angeles and can be seen at The Ensemble Theater in Santa Barbara reading of The Good Soldier, playing an English Lady from the early 1900s.
Earlier works include Nick Towne's film "Day of the Dead" which premiered at The New York International Independent Film Festival, Bryce Dallas Howard's directorial debut "Orchids" with Katherine Waterston and Alfred Molina for Glamour Magazine's "Reel Moments" series, "Came" directed by conceptual artist Brock Enright, and the short film "Betty File 43" popular on ifilm.com. Television work includes the HBO pilot "Derek and Simon".
She received a 2004 Critic's Pick from Backstage West and a Best Actress nomination from The Ticket Holders Awards for her performance in Martin McDonagh's "The Lonesome West" at the Actor's Gang Theatre, Los Angeles. Her work in Conor McPherson's "Dublin Carol" at the Ensemble Theatre Company was also well received.
Palka lives in Los Angeles and is a co-founder of the production company Morning Knight.
Moved to New York when she was 16.
Co-creator, with boyfriend Jason Ritter, of "Morning Knight, Inc.".
Close friends with Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel.
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