Skip to Content

The Daughter

Directed by Zac Villanueva

Jade, a half Filipina teenager, finds herself in the midst of drama when she gets into an altercation at school. Sent to the principal’s office, she is met by her step-father, Jerry, who calls Jade’s mom, Sarah, to come to the school’s office. After Jerry doubts Sarah’s parenting abilities during a private conversation, Sarah decides to take Jade home early. During their car ride, we learn that they have recently moved in with Jerry and that Sarah is struggling with the stress of the blended family living situation. Jerry, who challenges Sarah’s parenting abilities, is seen to be overbearing and controlling, causing tension between the three of them. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Jade is struggling with the change in her life and is sneaking out at night. Sarah, who is trying her best to be a good mother, is caught in the middle of the situation of defending her daughter and appeasing to her partner, Jerry, leading to an argument that ultimately makes Sarah sleep on the couch. In the middle of the night, Sarah discovers that Jade has snuck out and Sarah gets in her car to find Jade to bring her home. Meanwhile, Jade arrives at an outdoor party and is unexpectedly runs into her high school bully. She quickly realizes that the party was an ambush to make Jade get into a fight. But, just before the fight turns violent, Sarah arrives on the scene and rescues her daughter. Sarah and Jade embrace each other, bringing closure to the family’s struggle.

Zac Villanueva, a Filipino-American filmmaker from Richland, Washington, nurtured his cinema passion during childhood visits to the local theater with his father, following their parents’ divorce. In his filmmaking journey, he self-taught storytelling, cinematography, and editing, seeking mentorship from DGA film director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, leading to a remote internship focused on television episode pre-production.

Zac’s dedication took him to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he excelled as an award-winning writer/director, earning gold at the Independent Shorts Awards in 2021. His student films made waves at international festivals, and he directed a fully financed advanced production at USC.

With a diverse skill set, Zac also delved into film/TV production, collaborating with The Gotham Group, Elevate Entertainment, and Verve Talent & Literary Agency. At Universal Music Group, he leveraged his film background to develop $15K-budgeted music video treatments, showcasing his passion for music and diverse perspectives. Zac is dedicated to elevating underrepresented voices.

Plays in

Shorts Program VI: Scenes from Home

A Q&A panel with the filmmakers will take place after the screening. Scenes from Home takes us to…

Dates & Times


AMC Plaza Bonita 14

Fri, Oct 6
12:00 pm