Mirage: A Short Film

New York City, New York | Film Short

Drama, Sci-Fi

Daniel Beracha

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

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This campaign raised $20,070 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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If you could relive your memories, would you bother living in the present? Would you even dream of a future?

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

MIRAGE illuminates the themes looming in my own life, making it the most authentic story to realize as my directorial debut. In supporting the project, you enable me to prove my vision for the stories I hope to tell in my future and help ignite momentum in my career as a young woman writer-director.

The Story

Hooked to a drug that induces memories, a toxic, lifelong couple finds that escaping into their past is doomed for tragedy.


Last summer, a series of experiences stirred the inspiration for what would become the first draft of MIRAGE. My father began to suffer bouts of amnesia, brought on by debilitating sadness about my mother leaving him. A true addict of Nostalgia, he is plagued by memories of my mother — he says her imagined presence is “like a ghost in the house." At the same time, I was also facing the sputtering end of a troubled seven-year relationship. A change like this at only twenty-one sent earthquakes through my worldview.

Fascinated with the place of memory in intimate relationships, the story of MIRAGE took form. It explores the isolation that stems from a misalignment between our inner world and the world we share with others. It explores the daunting odyssey of leaving a toxic relationship. It explores the addictive nature of clinging to the past. It inspires hope in the end, when Loli, the hero, is able to escape her relationship after overdosing on Nostalgia and forgetting all the years she ever spent with Adam.


Two lovers swim in the sea as a lightning storm roars above them. Pretending to command the lightning, LOLI, 20, screeches with joy as ADAM, 20, watches. Slowly, the world fades away as this once perfect moment becomes a broken memory. Loli wakes from the trip, now thirty years old in a forlorn bedroom. She and Adam are still together and addicted to a crystal and water-based drug called Nostalgia that lucidly induces their memories.

In their waking haze, Adam is distant from Loli and confesses he’s been having an affair... in his trips, he's been 'visiting' nights he spends with their dealer, PEACHES. Adam wants out of the relationship. Where can Loli go from here? She can hardly remember a time she wasn't with Adam. Distraught, Loli revisits a memory where she fell for Adam’s friend JESSE over the phone.

Enraged by Loli's lack of loyalty, Adam devises a plan. Helpless, Loli is convinced by Adam that there is only one way to save their love: they must erase their past by killing those they've been unfaithful with. Terrified by the idea of murder, Loli prepares one final hit of Nostalgia and goes back in time to a nightmarish memory at a dry boatyard where she had an opportunity to run away with Jesse. Should she stay or should she go? She stays.

Loli wakes, and yet another Nostalgia memory fades into her dismal reality. Testing him, Loli begs Adam to dance with her, but he ignores her. Then she spots the gun by the sink and hides it in her pants. Loli resolves that the remnants of her relationship are not worth blood on their hands. When she admits this to Adam, he's confused, brushes her off. The love is gone. Loli shoots Adam -- but the gun was empty. Where's the bullet? Adam realizes that Loli's memory has been wiped from overdosing. Jesse is gone. So is Peaches.

Desperate to forget everything, Loli purposefully overdoses on Nostalgia and tumbles through scenes of memories —

Loli is seeing Adam beat Jesse to death in their parking lot. She's grabbing the gun, then killing Peaches in an alleyway, where she snorts Peaches' stash to try and undo the act. Then Loli and Adam are taking their first hit on a sidestreet after a rehearsal for Waiting for Godot. Then they're speeding down a desert highway in a convertible, until finally, the road comes to an end, and Loli is alone in the darkness.

When Loli finally wakes, she has no idea who the boy asleep with his arms around her is. Adam is now just a stranger in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar home, in an unfamiliar town. Loli leaves the apartment and wanders away, free at last.


We all live in two worlds: one that we share with others and one inside the privacy of our minds. It's often addicting to visit that secret inner world. MIRAGE imagines the antidote to being dissatisfied with "here" and "now." Simply crush the crystals, mix with water and let dissolve into an exposed vein. Then relax as you slip into a time before you wound up with this job, in this state, at this age, with this person lying in bed next to you...

As a young woman entering the industry as a writer-director, MIRAGE will be my creative calling card. The dynamics of the characters, the genre and the directorial style will embody the projects I hope to make in my career. By supporting the project, you would make it possible for me to prove my vision and pave a future.


The distinction between reality and memory will be subtly established through lens choice and lighting. 50mm lenses, the focal length that most mimics the human eye will be used for scenes of the Present and telephoto lenses will capture the Past, as if looking at scenes from faraway.

Raw, natural light in Neo Noire style will be used for the Present, while more impressionistic lighting will bring the Past to life. The works of Bill Henson and Gerhard Richter serve as predominant cinematography inspirations, as well as the films IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, RAGING BULL, INCEPTION, MEMENTO, VERTIGO, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, EYES WIDE SHUT, THE BEACH and A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE.  

Themes in the story that add nuanced depth:


  • There is little light on the subject of mentally abusive relationships. Unlike physically abusive relationships, they don’t possess the “glamour” of bruises and blood that violent Hollywood loves. While seemingly more subtle, there is long-lasting and destructive emotional impact.
  • Universally, in this quarantine age, we have been feeling trapped in the present. MIRAGE’s high concept of being able to indulge in the delights of the past will be relatable and grabbing.
  • Other Worlds and Tech Adventures are a dominant contemporary story trend. Take ALICE IN WONDERLAND, STRANGER THINGS, TENET and DUNE. It’s clear we are  collectively craving escapism.


Our founding team is dedicated to the mission of original, cutting edge storytelling. In order to tell the story of MIRAGE in its fullest artistic potential, certain tools and provisions are essential.

As a grueling character drama with ambitious visuals, we depend on a highly experienced cast and crew. These priorities play into the film’s financial plan: above the line funds will go exclusively towards talent. Below the line, our focus is on production design and camera. The several departments to which below the line funds will allocate include: 

Response to COVID-19

To mitigate variability in unexpected COVID regulations, protect the health of our cast and crew, and ensure the safety of our equipment, we are working closely with in-state partners to account for all potential scenarios. We will be coordinating in compliance with LA State Laws. All crew will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 24 hours ahead of shooting and proceed to remain 6ft apart wearing masks on set. The same requirements will be extended to the cast, though they will be permitted to remove masks while on camera.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Art Department

Costs $4,000

The artistic direction of Mirage is among the vertebrates of the project.

Transportation and Travel

Costs $2,000

We plan on shooting in remote parts of California and will need to ensure our crew gets there.


Costs $2,000

We plan on hiring the best actors to tell this story.

Camera Department

Costs $4,000

We need the right equipment to portray this story.

Food and Lodging

Costs $4,000

We need to keep our crew fed.

Editing and Color Correction

Costs $2,000

It's imperative that the editing and color correction of this project matches the scope of the story

Above-the-Line Fees

Costs $2,000

In order to make this project, we need to hire experienced professionals.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Elizabeth S. Acevedo



Elizabeth is training in writing and directing at NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film and TV with minors in the Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She has also studied screenwriting in Oxford University's post-graduate workshop and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University.

A National Scholastic award winning writer, published photographer and aspiring filmmaker, her work has been seen in VOGUE, on the cover of THE TIMES, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and more. Recently, she directed an Oscar-Nominated actor, and this summer she will be interning for CAA's Literary Department. In the past, she has worked in creative developmment and market research for Rideback Ranch (LA), in post production for Gigantic Studios (NYC), in advertising and production for Sotheby’s Real Estate (NYC) and in photography with National Geographic (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador). 


Daniel Alejandro Beracha


Daniel is a seasoned film producer with over 5 years of experience in independent film production. A member of NYU's highly selective Stern-Tisch Dual Degree program, he is well versed in the business of the entertainment industry. Daniel founded Headless Duckie Media Group LLC. in 2020 with the goal of telling stories from voices that often go unheard and has since worked as a producer on four shorts.


Peter Gold 


Peter is a Director, Actor, and Producer currently working on his feature directorial debut, The Art of Love alongside filmmakers Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale), Nic Sheff (Thirteen Reasons Why, Beautiful Boy), Steven Poster (Donnie Darko). He is currently on a leave of Absence from NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film and TV.

Light Iron: A Panavision Company




Elia Pelligirini



Elia is an Italian-based VFX & CGI designer working with YHELLOW, an LA-based worldwide visual production house.


Featured Track


Film will feature a track from celebrated band INHALER. 



Current Team