Movie Watch: In Search of Fellini

One of the things we’ll be regularly doing at FilmJerk is highlighting independent and foreign films we think you should be aware of that are coming out in the near future. Our first highlighted film is “In Search of Fellini.”

The coming-of-age drama, which will have its world premiere on February 24th at the 2017 Los Angeles Italia – Film, Fashion and Art Festival, stars “Lost Girl” actress Ksenia Solo as Lucy, a shy small-town Ohio girl who loves movies but dislikes reality, discovers the delightfully bizarre films of Federico Fellini, and sets off on a strange, beautiful journey across Italy to find him. Directed by South African filmmaker Taron Lexton, the film also features Maria Bello and Mary Lynn Rajskub.

But what might you find interesting about this movie? The film was written by Nancy Cartwright (with Peter Kjenaas), best known and loved as the long-time voice of Bart Simpson, based on her own life.

In Search of Fellini poster

20-year-old Lucy Cunningham (Solo) has never kissed a boy, never had a job, and never really had friends. Her best — and perhaps only — friend is her mother Claire (Bello), who has shielded her from all the bad in the world, including Claire’s own terminal illness. Claire’s no-BS sister, Kerri, urges Claire to break her silence and tell Lucy the truth before it’s too late.

Lucy, aware that something is up with Mom, leaps into adulthood and her Vespa to Cleveland for an ill-fated job interview. There, she stumbles into a bizarre and wonderful festival of the films of Federico Fellini, the great Italian director, where she sees his Oscar-winning “La Strada” (1954) and is instantly swept away. But this movie doesn’t have the happy ending she’s used to, and the cleverly enigmatic tragicomedy leaves Lucy restless and aching for answers. In a burst of courage, she leaves her small-town home to find the filmmaker and unlock his mysterious enigma and her own.

What follows is a strange and spectacular journey through the romantic dreamscapes of Italy, as Lucy encounters not just characters from Fellini’s films, but the fantasies and nightmares that defined him. Her journey of discovery and life, counterpoints Claire’s gradual decline into death. Apart but connected, they fulfill both of their dreams as truth and fiction intertwine into the ultimate Felliniesque journey.

The film, which does not have a theatrical release date set, is being distributed by AMBI Group.