A multi-media exhibit soon to open in Toronto will bring Federico Fellini’s creative inspiration to life.

The exhibition is traveling to Canada after premiering at Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2009 and spending 2010 on display at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

Federico Fellini was born in Rimini, Italy in 1920. He moved to Rome in 1939 to attend law school at the request of his parents, but soon took a job with a humor magazine instead of attending class.

In the years leading up to his personal cinematic breakthrough, Fellini worked drawing caricatures, selling cartoons and writing jokes for small papers.

Fellini’s start in cinema began during World War II thanks to his growing circle of professional acquaintances in Rome.

By 1947, Fellini had been nominated for an Oscar for his collaborative efforts on the screenplay titled Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City) and in 1951 he completed his first solo-directed film, Lo Sceicco Bianco (The White Sheik).

Today, Federico Fellini is best known for his 1960 masterpiece La Dolce Vita. It was in that iconic film that Fellini invented the term “paparazzi”, and artistically critiqued the emerging celebrity culture.

The exhibit Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions will focus on this theme of celebrity that appears frequently in Fellini’s work by exploring the director’s passion for pop culture.

Fellini’s creative process and his resulting contribution to cinema as it is known today will be revealed through a varied collection of over 400 items. Many of the photographs and rare sketches have never before been seen in North America.

Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions will feature Fellini’s personal items such as the Book of Dreams he began illustrating after being treated for depression by a Jungian psychoanalyst.

These intimate artifacts will be accompanied by a photography exhibit bringing Fellini’s 1960 Rome to life in a series of period images.

The five-time Oscar winning director died in 1993 and is buried with his wife and son in Rimini, but his influence as a cinematic genius has spanned continents and generations.

Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions is presented by TIFF and will run from the 30th of June to the 18th of September 2011. For more information, visit TIFF online.