It is vitally important in this life for each human to have a sense of identity. Who we are, where we came from and that usually leads us down the road of who we are to become. Without knowing who you are, people can often stumble through life aimlessly or feel that they are not “whole”. In Alana Hutton-Shaw’s (Waiting for Fukushima) film, which she both directed and wrote, that is exactly the situation the lead character finds herself in.
After her mother dies suddenly during the Christmas period, Anita (Daisy Fairclough – from television’s The Dark Tower) is not only wrapped up in grief but also with a conundrum on her hands. Her mother has left her a piece of paper/letter that contains the name of Anita’s biological father. Now Anita has to figure out what she is going to do with this. Should she seek out the man she has not known or just let sleeping dogs lie?
A tough decision, but Anita decides to find her father, Tony (Charles Daish – Mama Mia!: Here We Go Again, Hamlet – 1996). To undertake such a momentous thing on her own would not be wise, so Anita brings along her best friend, Dee (Genesis Lynea – from television’s Casualty). With all the ups and downs she goes through on the search for her father, Anita can count on the support of her best friend and learns that family is not only about what you are born into but also what you make.
Based on the experience of Hutton-Shaw, Finding Dad is a very heartfelt short film with a running time of around 30 minutes. Filled with quiet yet impactful moments. Authentic and raw, you cannot help but be drawn into what Anita is going through and have your heart go out to her. You are rooting for Anita to not only find the man who has been missing from her life but also herself and how important friendship is in life.
Filmed in London’s East End, it teaches us that while something might be lost, there is almost always something found as well.