Anyone who watches In Search of Fellini sees immediately that a huge amount of meticulous research, work and care went into the details and intricate elements that make up the fabric of this story. Here is a list of some of the trivia that has been documented about the film. If you see others that we haven’t noted and send us a message!

"In Search of Fellini" is based off a true adventure that Executive Producer and Writer, Nancy Cartwright, took in 1985 when she set off to Italy alone searching for famed film director, Federico Fellini to get the stage rights to his film "La Strada."
In 1985, Nancy Cartwright sent numerous letters to Federico Fellini and producers Carlo Ponti and Dino DeLaurentis to inquire about getting the rights to the film "La Strada." Although it was not encouraging, Nancy received a letter back from Mr. Fellini's office.
In 1995, Nancy Cartwright performed her one-woman show "In Search of Fellini" at the Theatre Geo in Los Angeles. The show was written by Peter Kjenaas (who also co-wrote the film with Nancy) and was directed by Leslie Welles.
The main character, LUCY (KSENIA SOLO) CUNNINGHAM is a reference to Gelsomina from Fellini's "La Strada." “LUCY” means “light” and that is one of the ethereal qualities that Nancy and Fellini saw in their lead characters. Lucy also happens to be the name of Nancy Cartwright's real-life daughter who embodies similar ethereal qualities as Lucy Cunningham/Gelsomina.
SYLVIA (BETH RIESGRAF) is a reference to Sylvia from Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" and Anita from Fellini's "Boccaccio '70," both played by actress Anita Ekberg. The black dress Beth wears was an authentic costume from "La Dolce Vita" and was procured by costume designer Catherine Buyse Dian in Italy.
The film festival "Tutto Fellini" was based off an actual Fellini festival at the Film Forum in Greenwich Village in 1993 that started on October 29 and ran until December 21. During this festival, Fellini passed away in Rome on October 31, 1993 at the age of 73.
Lucy's drawings were mostly drawn by three sources: 1) producer, Milena Ferreira; 2)Alyssa Suede—one of “The Big O Production” actresses and; 3) the Art Department.
Lucy's drawings of herself mirror Fellini's drawings of Gelsomina.
The line "La bella confusione... The beautiful confusion" is spoken by character GUIDO (DAVIDE DEVENUTO) and said again by him later in the film. "The Beautiful Confusion" was the working title for Fellini's "8 1/2."
COSIMA is played by Nancy Cartwright, the executive producer and writer of the film. Cosima was inspired by a Swedish homeless man that Nancy met on her adventures through Italy. He had been an actor who worked with Lee Strasburg and also had worked as an extra on Fellini’s “Satyricon.” His name was "Cosmo."
In real life, Nancy Cartwright’s luggage indeed went to Frankfurt, Germany while she left in Italy without any clothes for several days until the luggage was retrieved.
The character BEPPI is played by actor Bruno Zanin who played "Titta," the lead role in Fellini's Oscar winning "Amarcord."
The film features footage and characters from Guido Brignone's "Maciste All'Inferno", the first movie Fellini ever saw as a child.
As part of the set decoration, there are Fellini VHS tapes by Claire's television when LUCY is young and before she or CLAIRE (MARIA BELLO) knew about Fellini.
CLAIRE'S line "Your real life is in your dreams anyway" is a reference to Wanda's line "Our real life is in our dreams…" from Fellini's "The White Sheik."
Without Nancy's knowledge, the crew hid Bart Simpson “Easter eggs” in various scenes. Nancy has been doing the voice of Bart Simpson and Nelson Muntz, Todd Flanders, Ralph Wiggum, Data Base, Kearney and Maggie on the iconic show “The Simpsons” since 1987.
The Cleveland sequence was shot in five cities and in two countries: the external arrival to Big O Productions in Cleveland, Ohio; the shots of Placido across the street in Venice, Italy; the exterior theater and soundstage for Big O Productions interior in Los Angeles, California; and finally interior theater in Milan, Italy. It is all cut seamlessly to appear as though it's in Cleveland.
The Zampano wagon was a replica of the wagon in "La Strada."
In the Big O Productions office, a trailer for a film plays on the television which was made by Captiv3 Media (close friends of TXL Films). The film features a kitten meowing which is a reference to the kitten Sylvia finds in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita."
The posters on the walls of Big O Productions contain many references to Fellini characters in their credits, the most noticeable being references to Checco Dal Monte and Melina Amour in "Variety Lights" and Angelina, the Giantess in Fellini's "Fellini's Casanova." These names are scrambled together at the bottom of the "kitten" poster. Also, the "kitten" poster itself references Sylvia from Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," who plays with a white kitten in the film.
On head shots, the girls names are references to Fellini female character names, namely Fortunata from Fellini's "Fellini Satyricon."
The magazine pages taped to LUCY's bedroom walls depict PIETRO (ENRICO OETIKER) and PLACIDO (PAOLO BERNARDINI) as models before she ever meets them.
The postcard CLAIRE receives from LUCY while in Verona is addressed to 10 Via Dardanelli in Rimini, Ohio. "10 Via Dardanelli Rimini, Italy” is the address where Fellini was born.
DAN VAN HUSEN reprises a role he played ("Viderol") in Fellini's "Casanova."
TOBY (BRUTIUS SELBY) has line "Life is nothing more than an illusion. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" which is almost verbatim of a quote from Shakespeare - Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5, Page 2. In Fellini's segment of "Spirits of the Dead", character Toby Dammit has this line: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury...", and is also almost verbatim from Shakespeare.
The name Nino Rota was added to the gravestone that LUCY wakes up on. It is in reference to the great Italian composer who scored most of Fellini's films.
PIETRO's drawings are mostly drawn by assistant producer Nicole Pase.
PIETRO is based off the actual Pietro that Nancy met in Verona back in 1985. Indeed, he fell in love with her and proposed. And like the film, Nancy had more important things to attend to!
PIETRO gives LUCY a necklace, just as the Fool gave Gelsomina a necklace in Fellini's "La Strada."
CABIRIA (ANDREA OSVART) has line "…they'll steal your money, break your heart, push you in a river or off a cliff" which are the exact things her character suffered at the hands of men in Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria."
The large, candlelit "10 MILA" cake was created as an exact replica of the one in Fellini's "City of Women." In that film, it celebrates Dr. Xavier's 10,000th sexual conquest. In this film, Lucy is targeted by Placido as his 10,000th conquest.
The small sculpture that LUCY picks up in the bookstore is an authentic piece called "Ariadne" that Nancy Cartwright bought on her original trip to Italy in 1985. In reality, Nancy escaped an assault by kneeing her perpetrator where it counts and then running through the streets of Venice in order to get away. Nancy ducked into a boutique where she found and bought this exact sculpture created by world-renown sculptor/alchemist, Kevin Coates.
The proprietor of that boutique was named Beppe and he cut a deal with Nancy so she could afford this piece of fine art. Decades later, with the completion of the filming, Nancy found the business card that Beppe had given her. On the back of the card was Kevin Coates address. Nancy subsequently found that Beppe had already passed away, but she got in touch with Kevin and his lovely wife, Nel and they have since developed a fondness and mutual respect for each other.
COSIMA's line: "Everything serves a purpose. Even that stone. Even you." is a variation of line from the Fool in Fellini's "La Strada" "Everything has a purpose. Even this stone. Even the stars. Even you."
Crew members can be seen warming their hands by the fire behind the VAGRANTS: Italian Line Producer, Nicola Rosada, and Italian Art Director Assistant On Set, Mirko Donati.
As LUCY passes the Trevi Fountain, actor Marcello Mastriani can be heard whispering "Sylvia" from Fellini's "La Strada" where he and actress Anita Ekbert danced together in the fountains.
Upon location scouting, the Trevi Fountain was closed for remodeling. Production knew they had to get this in the film as it's one of the most iconic Fellini film locations in film making. The production companies scored when the city revealed the newly remodeled tourist attraction to the public—just making the end of the shooting schedule.
Actress Ksenia Solo as LUCY walking in Piazza Navona, Rome, was the last shot in Italy.
Federico Fellini and his wife, Giulietta Masina, lived at 110 Via Margutta in Rome. As they no longer allowed filming at this address, a courtyard down the street was used and marked as 110.
In the film, FELLINI (MARIANO APREA) appears wearing Fellini’s iconic fedora, glasses and red scarf that he often drew himself wearing.
Restaurant Osteria Margutta is the actual restaurant where Fellini would often dine, and in the film he's seated at the exact spot he is said to have sat every time. Appropriately honoring Italy’s “treasure,” there is a chair with his name on it. At the end of filming, the restaurant owner also put Nancy Cartwright's name on a chair as a token of appreciation.
The pencil sketch of LUCY that FELLINI draws of her on a napkin is a duplication of Fellini's sketch of Gelsomina from his work on "La Strada."
The news footage shown of Fellini's death was the actual death announcement from October 31, 1993. Fellini passed away one day after his 50th wedding anniversary. With a broken heart, Giulietta passed away 5 months later, thus completing a life cycle of this magnetic couple.



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