Mark Spano is a prolific writer, filmmaker, and television producer.
Of all his works on film, the love of this first-generation Sicilian’s life is his feature documentary “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife.” The film played to packed houses during its initial limited theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada. It was warmly received at the Toronto Italian Film Festival and has aired on select public television stations both here and in E.U. markets. (Mark discusses his documentary during an interview now on YouTube.) Shortly after he completed the film, he also published a companion book. Both the film and the book are available on amazon.com
Since he can’t get enough of his family’s homeland, Mark spent some time during the COVID-10 quarantine to produce a short video tribute entitled Dreaming of Sicily. He is currently working on another show about Sicilian wines.
Mark is also developing a documentary about African-American soldiers’ participation in the Civil War.
“Montalbano felt moved. This was real friendship, Sicilian friendship, the kind based on intuition, on what was left unsaid. With a true friend, one never needs to ask, because the other understands on his own accordingly.”
— Andrea Camilleri
Since Thunderfoot Press published Mark’s novel, Midland Club, this page-turning murder mystery has received two literary awards and significant critical acclaim. Readers continue to rave about the book via Amazon Readers Comments, allowing it to maintain a 4.5 rating out of 5. (To order a copy, go to amazon.com.)
Film Noir: As he was writing the book, Mark kept envisioning Midland Club as a film. This concept also occurred to several readers, including “Andy E” on Amazon who offered: “The writer of Midland Club is a filmmaker, a fact that comes through in the clarity and imagery of his writing. He captures, in a ‘noiresque’ manner, the atmosphere of the period, and the location… It would make a great film.”
In January 2018, Mark secured an artist’s residency in Seaside, Florida, where he could work on adapting Midland Club for the screen. In 2020, he began putting together a development team for the film. at an artist’s residency in Seaside, Florida. In the summer of 2020, he began assembling a development team for the future film. To see the intro on YouTube: “Midland Club.”
A list of all the short fiction, nonfiction articles, and book reviews Mark has published is updated regularly on his website under Short Works at a Glance.
Rewind: Arts, Fundraising, Television
Early in his career, Mark served as executive director for a Tampa Bay, Florida-based performing arts venue, where he raised the quality of national acts brought into the area by presenting national Jazz and Classical artists the rank of Chick Corea and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Mark also introduced a new ballet series in Tampa Bay — a Steinway piano series — and expanded programming for younger audiences to include acoustic pop, bluegrass, and the blues. He was also successful in attracting a non-polarized audience to general programming events such as opera, jazz, dance, and other performing arts.
For the greater portion of his career, Spano has been actively engaged in securing funding for film, television, community, and art projects.
For more than 12 years, he has also operated his own business, Mark Spano Communications, Inc., through which he produced “Carolina Countryside,” a weekly public television series. After airing across North Carolina, Discovery Home & Leisure picked up the series for national broadcast.
He has also produced, directed, and written the following television programs:
- “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell,”
- A television series in cooperation with Preservation North Carolina, narrated by Charlie Rose.
- Successful pledge specials for public television.
- Live events for television.
- Corporate marketing videos.
- A variety of television and radio spots for retail advertising, political candidates, and public service announcements.
A native of Kansas City, MO., the son of Sicilian immigrants, Mark holds dual U.S./Italian citizenship.
For several decades, he has lived in the passive-solar house he and his partner built in rural Orange County, North Carolina. They share their home with Tommy the rescue dachshund and two Sussex chickens named Mimi and Rosie.
Below: Mealtime with Mimi and Rosie
To contact Mark Spano:
READING IN KANSAS CITY
In April 2018, Mark was part of a special reading/book signing event at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion (click here to read more about it). Here’s a little video of his presentation…