With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, the song was newly written for the musical's 2009 film adaptation. The musical, adapted from Fellini's 8 1/2, centers on world-famous Italian film director Guido Contini and the many women in his life as Contini finds himself in a mid-life crisis. "Cinema Italiano" was written by Yeston for a new character created for the film adaptation, an American journalist played by Kate Hudson.
Lee is joined in the video by David Nick Alea, Phillip Deceus, Nicolas Fiery, Christian Galvis, Phillip Anthony Giandiletti, Tae' Martin, Michael Pesko, and Eric Ulloa. Michael McCrary directed and choreographed, with Lauren VanGheluwe serving as associate choreographer and Nicolas Fiery as assistant choreographer. Filming and editing are by Lea Sophia and Derek Taylor, with additional editing by bluephotonyc.
Lee made history as the first openly trans Tony nominee in 2022, for her performance as one of the Thoughts in A Strange Loop. She is currently working on The Women, a response to the 1936 Clare Boothe Luce play that centers the voices and modern experiences of women and non-binary writers.