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. Macys 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 Directors 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 Ephrons critically acclaimed play Love Loss and What I Wore at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Palka can be seen in Peter Mullens 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 Howards second film When You Find Me, executive produced by Ron Howard for the Canon sponsored Project Imagina8tion.