From “Dreaming of Sicily”

October 5, 2020 (Orange County, NC) — “Dreaming of Sicily,” a short film by North Carolina author and filmmaker Mark Spano, has been selected for inclusion in the Corto Film Festival Citta di Palermo, a film festival and competition premiering in Palermo, Sicily, this fall to promote the expression and artistry of short-format cinema.

A North Carolina resident, Mark Spano is a second-generation Sicilian-American with dual citizenship. The Triangle Sons & Daughters of Italy recently named him 2020 Outstanding Italian-American in North Carolina.

Spano wrote, directed, and narrated “Dreaming of Sicily” after COVID-19 forced him to remain in his home in rural Orange County, NC, assisted by director of photography David Tyson and editor Larry Gardner.

With enticing footage Spano captured on previous pilgrimages to his family’s homeland — of Sicilian people, places, land- and seascapes – he invites the viewer into his daydreams as he begins his narration:

“A virus has made so many of us contemplatives. It is no longer a life full of the day’s usual noises and rushing around. Like monastics, we are at home, working, cleaning, preparing meals… I cannot help but dream. And when I dream, I dream of Sicily.”

In the short film, Spano acknowledges the centuries of wars and strife Sicilians have endured on their island nation. Yet through it all, they have emerged “bruised but still singing,” he says. That same spirit sustains him as the pandemic persists:

“As I dream, I call upon my own Sicilian bloodline for perseverance and an open heart until I am again standing on a rocky ledge, gazing out to the shimmering sea, and dreaming in Sicily.”

Spano’s film and other selected shorts will be screened at the Re Mida Casa Cultura (King Midas Culture House) in Palermo, where they will be judged by both the attending audience and a technical jury.

For those who won’t be in Palermo this fall, “Dreaming of Sicily” can be viewed on YouTube:

Long-format homage to his homeland

Before “Dreaming of Sicily,” Spano spent 10 years creating the award-winning feature-length documentary film “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” which consistently sold out movie houses during its limited theatrical run in 2018 in the U.S. and Canada.

Subsequently, he wrote a companion book to that film subtitled A Filmmaker’s Journey. (Read a review in the Times of Italy.) The film and the book are available on Amazon.

For more information on Mark Spano, visit