Mount Dora's ‘Starry Night’ house to be featured in documentary

The "Starry Night" house in Mount Dora, inspired by Vincent van Gogh's masterpiece, is again capturing attention as the subject of a new documentary. 

The house became a prominent story in 2017 when its owners fought with the city to preserve the artwork, and filmmaker Lionel Montells is now focusing on it.

"When I found out about this story, I really fell in love with the reason why Nancy Nemhauser painted the house," said Montells.

The home, painted to resemble van Gogh's famous piece, was initially designed to help Nemhauser's autistic son, Chip, find his way home if he ever got lost. "I thought that was beautiful," Montells explained.

In 2017, the house made headlines when the homeowners clashed with Mount Dora city officials, who cited the artwork as a code violation, labeling it graffiti. The city attempted to fine the homeowners, but the dispute escalated into a legal battle that the homeowners ultimately won. The city later apologized and paid the family.

"They were grasping at straws," Nemhauser remarked regarding the city's initial reaction.


Reflecting on the journey, Nemhauser added, "It stuns me! It absolutely stuns me! It was meant to be for our son initially, and then it just catapulted."

Now, this saga will be documented in a film titled "Starry Fight." Montells emphasized the film's focus on parental dedication. 

"What would a parent be willing to do for their child? This lady, she went through heaven and hell to maintain this house. And it was all for her son."

Montells' crew will begin filming next week. The hope is that a streaming company will pick up the documentary this fall. 

"We plan to have it out by, before the holidays, hopefully," Montells added.