Halcyon Days

Jack finds himself on a search to quell the uncertainty and ambivalence he feels about his marriage. He unexpectedly finds himself at the doorstep of a psychic, Ilia. However, Ilia is not in the business of telling fortunes, but of telling people about themselves.

  • Mark Berbano
  • Mark Berbano
  • Andrew Ratermann
  • Robert Kittler
    Key Cast
  • Serra Naiman
    Key Cast
    Lost Inside, I Wrote This for You
  • Duncan Heath
    Key Cast
    Buy No Means, Ghost of a Chance
  • David Waldorf
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SIMI Film Fest
    Simi Valley
    United States
    September 17, 2023
    World Premiere
    Nominee for Best Writing, Best Originality, Best First Time Filmaker
Director Biography - Mark Berbano

Based out of the Central Valley of California, Mark Berbano is a filmmaker interested in themes of memories, time, and dreams. After starting a career in the defense industry and seeking a challenging artistic outlet, he found the world of cinema through the works of filmmakers such as Tarkovsky and Kiarostami. Seeing filmmaking as a perfect challenge requiring both technical aptitude and clear artistic vision, he joined the Bay Area-based film group Scary Cow, where he found opportunities to work with local filmmakers and began the journey of learning this difficult and relatively new art.

After taking up various crew positions on several different projects, he wrote and directed his debut short film entitled Halcyon Days, a philosophical drama stemming from the age old question of what one would do with their life if they had the ability to look into the future. He hopes to develop future cinematic projects drawing from biographical elements such as family and one's relationship to the modern world.

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Director Statement

The 19th century philosopher and father of psychology William James said "Turn the lights down low, so as to give miracles a chance."

On the surface, Halcyon Days is a film about marriage, love, and fate but its edifice is about how inner experience manifests itself through decisions. As I get older and see potentialities give way to actualities, I find myself wondering how my life will turn out. This is echoed in the main character's search for an answer, given in the form of a dream. The language of dreams has always interested me, being one in which form takes primacy over content. My aim was to combine this language with the pressing philosophical questions of how one is supposed to live their life with the experiences they've been given.

I also wanted to capture these rare, dream-like moments of life. As the main characters find themselves passing from youth to the middle chapter of life, I wanted to show that what often feels like an ordinary moment can be found a certain richness when viewed through the lens of memory. Memory is what allows us to convert the struggle of the present into what eventually becomes days of nostalgia, peace and happiness.