The American soap opera "Dallas" becomes a hit in 1980s Romania, providing a rare window to the West for viewers living under a brutal communist regime. Among those watching are Ilie and his daughter Livia. He's a small-time criminal who craves the lavish lifestyle he sees on TV; she's in love with "Dallas" hunk Patrick Duffy. After communism falls, Ilie builds the Hotel Dallas, a replica of the show's mansion. Livia, now a filmmaker, recruits Duffy to star in a bizarre Romanian version of "Dallas," haunted by the ghosts of the country's past. This surreal mix of fiction and documentary premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival. 















Cast & Crew


The Filmmakers

Ungur & Huang is wife-and-husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang. Based in NYC, they make films, as well as sculptures and installations. Their 2015 short film "Prodigal" premiered at the Black Maria Film Festival, screened at the National Gallery of Art in D.C., and won festival jury awards at Montreal Underground, FIVA, and Leiria. Their next film, the feature "Hotel Dallas," premiered at the 2016 Berlinale; later that year, they were included in Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film."  Their work has been made possible by grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and Yale School of Art.  

The Leading Man

Patrick Duffy is known for his iconic roles in Dallas (both the original CBS series and the recent TNT revival) and the ABC sitcom Step by Step. As a director, he helmed 30 episodes of Dallas and 39 episodes of Step by Step; he recently stepped behind the camera again for TNT's Major Crimes. He also starred in the critically acclaimed comedy series Welcome to Sweden and the classic soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. He lives on a ranch in Oregon with his wife Carlyn.



Visual effects
Post-production sound mix
Original score
Folk music arrangement & performance
Soundtrack artists
Michael Jackson tribute artist

Main Cast
(in order of appearance)


Young Livia
Brother, et al
B's Mom, et al
Jeff Koons
The Artist
Young Ilie
Tombstone Artist


Razvan Doroftei
Sonia Chihaia
Maria Croitoru
Serena Sgardea
Bogdan Velicu
Maria Buzatel
Livia Ungur
Nicu Ungureanu
Patrick Duffy
Steluta Ungureanu
Dexter Ungur-Huang
Mark Starling
Crenguta Hariton
Carmen Roxin
Ioan Roxin
Neculai Predica
Diana Vladu
Sherng-Lee Huang
Dumitru Pop Tincu





Download Press Kit (PDF)      Download Photos 1       Download Photos 2

Filmmaker Magazine

"Carefree and surreal, never-to-be-tied-down-by-boring-film-school-rules irreverence ... potently pioneering ... The film has finally put me at a loss for words. Or perhaps, more accurately, the words are too many to describe this wondrous work of art, slash documentary, slash cultural commentary, slash love song to both Romania and the United States ... Hotel Dallas looks at filmmaking as art ... a great canvas spread across the beams of a movie theater, to be painted, slowly and in increasingly daring colors." The Huffington Post

"A combination of documentary, unstuck-in-time fantasy, and children's theater ... [a] uniquely skewed artistic vision ... The effect is mesmerizing." Baltimore Sun

"Refreshingly offbeat and innovative as it mixes abstractions, dramatizations, and outrageous musical numbers with more conventional elements of documentary, all of which illuminate the almost tragic absurdity of the tale. This entertaining work of art is a delightful intersection of cultures." POV Magazine 

“Through the lens of a family whose ups and downs dovetail with the Ewings in some unexpected ways, Hotel Dallas doesn’t reflect American entertainment as much as it refracts it, reveling in its own unclassifiable spirit." Indiewire ("5 New Must-See Documentaries From the 2016 Hot Docs Festival")

"Eccentric, esoteric, and impressionistic ... lovely in its loopy rhythms and luscious visuals, a charmingly personal take on shared cultural history." The Hollywood Reporter

"[A] heady mix of fact and fiction that is the perfect surreal testament to life under a dictatorship." Hammer to Nail

 "At once unorthodox and mesmerizing."  i-D ("10 Films We Loved At This Year's Berlinale")

"Audacious and unconventional storytelling ... a wonderfully surreal road trip." D Magazine

"It's the birth of a new law. Given the state of today's fiction cinema ... if you are just too original, too intelligent, and too creative (like this Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur), then you simply must make a documentary. What is Hotel Dallas? Truly, it is an embarrassment of riches ... scenes of indescribable delicacy ... a magical experience ... so full of compassion and sympathy for everyone on screen." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"An enchanting film, a self-reflexive puzzle that somehow connects the popularity of an American TV show in the communist era, Brâncuși's Sculptural Ensemble in Târgu Jiu, the Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa, and the struggle to be an artist in New York ... A complex and courageous film that speaks to, among other things, Romania yesterday and Romania today." Romania Libera

"A hilarious, inspired journey ...  The film’s inherent–sometimes cartoony–strangeness is implicit in the topsy-turvy political situation it seeks to dissect. But it’s the dissection of a trickster, not a surgeon." Malta Today

"A head trip ... an endlessly compelling film ... It's so out there that I stopped taking notes and just stared at the screen, wondering what in the hell I had gotten myself into ... For those wanting to wrestle with another way of looking at the world, this is a must see." Unseen Films

"What a wonderful film in Panorama. My pick for the Audience Award. Bring it on! ... The duo have made a magical, crazy, experimental movie, but one that is never dull and never gets lost in art for art's sake." FestivalBlog

"Definitely the most bizarre documentary of the festival." Intellectures ("Our Berlinale Favorites")

"A feast for the eyes." Next Projection

"Extraordinary." Cinema-V

"There really is nothing like Hotel Dallas." Cinema Axis

"Strange and haunting ... a sparkling oddity." Spectacular Optical

"Londoners should consider themselves lucky to get to experience this film ... It's a documentary like no other ... Prepare yourself to be surprised, enlightened, and have your opinion changed on how and where you want to be buried." The 405

"Become enraptured by the strangest of films, Hotel Dallas." The Panoptic

Print and Online Interviews

Berlin: Hotel Dallas Enlisted Duffy for Surreal Twist Variety 

Berlin Hidden Gems: Hotel Dallas Shows How TV's Dallas Toppled Romanian Communism The Hollywood Reporter

Berlinale 2016 Women Directors: Meet Livia Ungur Indiewire

Hotel Dallas: A TV Franchise's Second Life—as Art, Artifact Fandor Keyframe

2016 Berlinale Interview: Sherng-Lee Huang (Hotel DallasIndiewood

Interview: Patrick Duffy of Hotel Dallas Dallas Film Society

A Conversation with Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang (Hotel Dallas) Hammer to Nail

Maryland Film Festival Brings Dallas to Baltimore Baltimore OUTloud

Film Shows How Dallas Shaped the Lives of Romanians Vice Romania

Hotel Dallas: Interview with Livia Ungur Decât o Revistă

Livia Ungur: I paid Patrick Duffy with a Bottle of Wine Etiquette Magazine

TV and Radio Interviews

Patrick Duffy Stops by to Talk About New Movie Hotel Dallas Good Morning Texas 

Film Shows How Dallas Gave Romania a Glimpse of Life in the West KERA (NPR Dallas)

Tracks: Hotel Dallas Arte (French/German TV)

Berlinale Bonus: International Film Festival Highlights NPR Berlin

Berlinale Night Talk: Sherng-Lee Huang of Hotel Dallas RBB (German Radio)

Berlinale 2016: Hotel Dallas Mephisto (German Radio)

Berlinale: Sherng-Lee Huang of Hotel Dallas Deutsche Welle (German TV)

Stage and Screen: Livia Ungur of Hotel Dallas Romania Cultural Radio




Hotel Dallas and the filmmakers are available for festivals and special engagements. 
Contact ungurhuang@gmail.com for details.

Past (2016)

Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama) Berlin, Germany (Feb 15-20)

Dallas International Film Festival Dallas, TX (Apr 15-16)

Hot Docs Toronto, Canada (Apr 30, May 1, May 6)

Maryland Film Festival Baltimore, MD (May 7-8)

Docs Against Gravity Warsaw, Poland (May 13, 14, 19)

Docaviv Tel Aviv, Israel (May 20, 22)

European Film Festival Bucharest & Timisoara, Romania (May 13, May 29)

Moviate Underground Film Festival Opening Night Event - Harrisburg, PA (May 27)

Valletta Film Festival Jury Special Mention - Valletta, Malta (Jun 4-6)

Romanian Cinematheque Bucharest, Romania (Jun 10)

Galway Film Fleadh Galway, Ireland (Jul 5-10)

Indie Street Film Festival Red Bank, NJ (Jul 8)

Sidewalk Film Festival Birmingham, AL (Aug 26-28)

Raindance Film Festival London, UK (Sep 22 & 30)

Tacoma Film Festival / 25 New Faces of Independent Film Tacoma, WA (Oct 9)

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Hot Springs, AR (Oct 12)

Upcoming (2016)

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival Santa Fe, NM (Oct 19-23)

Seminci (International Cinema Week) Valladolid, Spain (Oct 22-29)

 St. Louis International Film Festival St. Louis, MO (Nov 3-13)

Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL (Nov 9)*

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University Auburn, AL (Nov 10)*

San Diego Underground Film Festival San Diego, CA (Nov 11-13)

Knoxville Museum of Art / The Public Cinema Knoxville, TN (Nov 13)

East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN (Nov 14)*

Western Carolina University Cullhowee, NC (Nov 15)*

Oxford College of Emory University Oxford, GA (Nov 16)*

Presbyterian College Clinton, SC (Nov 17)*

Winder Cultural Arts Center Winder, GA (Nov 18)* 

* Southern Circuit filmmaker tour, sponsored by SouthArts