Fellini script 'Viaggio' on new voyage


ROME -- Work will start early next year on "Viaggio a Tulum" (Voyage to Tulum), a Mexico-based story written by iconic Italian director Federico Fellini but not started during the director's lifetime.

The news is the first to emerge from the Business Street market at the second RomaCinemaFest, which got under way Thursday.

The project will officially launch at a briefing to be held at the Hotel Flora -- which housed Fellini's offices in Rome -- which are now hosting part of the Business Street.

The film, which will center on Fellini's trip to Mexico to meet the famous mystic Carlos Castaneda, will be filmed in Mexico and at Rome's Cinecitta Studios, with a budget of at least €3.5 million ($5 million).

Filming is expected to start Jan. 20, 2008, which would have been the 88th birthday for Fellini, who died in 1993.

The film's backers say they have secured about half of the funding they need already, most of it from Mexican investors and the Mexican government.

Fellini wrote "Viaggio a Tulum" in 1985, and it was published in book form by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera a year later. But it was never made into a film.

The project will be directed by documentary maker Marco Bartoccioni. Fellini and Tullio Pinelli -- who adapted Fellini's original work -- will share screenwriting credits.

Most of the cast members have yet to be named, but the film's backers said leads will be named at next month's Cancun Film Festival in Mexico.