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Actress Maria Bello will be honored at the 12th annual L.A. Italia Film Fest with the fest’s Excellence Award in recognition of her long acting career and work as a human rights activist.
The world premiere of Bello’s new film, AMBI’s In Search of Fellini, will close out the festival. The coming-of-age-drama directed by Taron Lexton is about a small-town Ohio girl who after discovering the films of Federico Fellini, sets off on a bizarre journey across Italy to find him. Ksenia Solo and Mary Lynn Rajskub also star.
Nancy Cartwright, most famously the voice of Bart Simpson, penned the script, based on her own life, with Peter Kjenaas.
Cartwright executive produced the film under her company Spotted Cow Entertainment alongside AMBI Pictures’ Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi, Kevin Burke and Maria Bello. Producers include Kjenaas, Monica Gil, Lexton, Nathan Lorch, Milena Ferreira and Michael Doven. The film was shot on location in Milan, Rome, Venice, Verona and Cleveland, Ohio.
“We are extremely thankful that AMBI has given us In Search of Fellini as our closing night film,” said festival director Pascal Vicedomini. “Aside from focusing on a revered Italian filmmaker, it also displays some of Italy’s most historic and beautiful locations to audiences around the world.”
L.A. Italia this year is introducing a new documentary section called “Togetherness” featuring Italian documentaries that have had an impact on the world. Gianfranco Rosi’s Oscar-nominated Fire at Sea will headline the section, where he’ll be presented with the Master of Documentary award.
The festival takes place Feb 19-25 at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, directly before the Oscars. Music icons Mike Stoller and Corky Hale are chairing this year’s edition. As previously announced, the festival will dedicate retrospectives to Dean Martin and Marcello Mastroianni.
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