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Gay Producer Michael Lucas Sued over Use of “La Dolce Vita”

NEW YORK – The good name and dignity of the classic 1960s film “La Dolce Vita,” directed by Federico Fellini, is being stripped away by two pornographic movies using the same name, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

International Media Films Inc. accused New York filmmaker Andrei Treivas Bregman of trademark and copyright infringement for the porn films he made under his business name, Michael Lucas. The lawsuit seeks to stop sales of the movies, “Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita” Parts 1 and 2, and to collect unspecified damages.

Bregman, who moved to the United States from Moscow in 1997, called the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan a joke.

“Nobody can be confused and think they’re buying Fellini’s movie by buying mine,” said Bregman, noting the name Michael Lucas was part of his title, which otherwise means “The Sweet Life.”

New York-based International Media Films said it believed the gay pornographic films, released last month, will “infringe, tarnish and dilute” its trademark rights to the highly decorated “La Dolce Vita,” which won the 1961 Academy Award for costume design and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best foreign film of that year.

“La Dolce Vita,” with its famously sexy scene of Anita Ekberg coaxing Marcello Mastroianni into the Trevi fountain, also won the Golden Palm at Cannes. Fellini won a lifetime achievement award in film in 1993, shortly before his death.

International Media Films said it bought “La Dolce Vita” in 2001. The film introduced the term “paparazzi” as it followed the life of a tabloid journalist who covers the show business life of Rome while yearning to write about more serious subjects.

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