"The lively feature debut of New York-based duo Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur transforms remnants of the cultural Cold War into a bold take on hybrid documentary and Conceptual video. In 1980s Romania, where Ungur grew up, the American series Dallas was one of the few foreign shows on the air; the Ewing family's feuding was intended to demonstrate the corruption of American capitalism. Instead, the series' escapist imagery captured the imagination of a generation, both during the Ceausescu regime and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Hotel Dallas loosely charts the real story of a 1990s Romanian oligarch who fashioned himself after the series' lead, J.R. Ewing, complete with a replica of the show's Texan ranch that doubles as an embezzlement scheme. The narrative unfolds through archival footage, reenactments, a madcap film within a film, and the participation of Dallas star Patrick Duffy. At once slow-burning and exuberant, Hotel Dallas creates innovative cinema from personal and cultural history." Program Notes, Museum of Modern Art

HOTEL DALLAS (74 min; Romania/USA; distributed by Fandor, MUBI, and Heretic Outreach )























Cast & Crew


The Filmmakers

Ungur & Huang is wife-and-husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang. Based in NYC, they make films, sculptures, and installations. The duo have exhibited at museums and galleries internationally, including Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, National Library of Argentina, Bucharest Art Week, Knoxville Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Open Space Arts Centre, and Spool Contemporary Art Center. Their first feature film, Hotel Dallas, premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and landed them in Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film." The film won festival awards at Ann Arbor, Santa Fe, FIDBA, and Valletta; travelled with the filmmakers on an American tour sponsored by SouthArts; and was deemed a "must-see" by Indiewire and a "wondrous work of art" by The Huffington Post. Hotel Dallas is distributed by Fandor, Heretic Outreach, and MUBI. Their short film Prodigal premiered at the 2015 Black Maria Film Festival and won festival awards at Montreal Underground, FIVA, and Leiria. Their work has been made possible by grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Jerome Foundation, and the 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
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
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

"Potently pioneering ... [a] 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

"Surreal ... both a nostalgic look at the primetime soap as well as an indictment of the corruption that has plagued Romania since the end of communist rule." Variety

“Must-see ... 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

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

"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 

"[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

"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 

"Composed with a lively style, original and varied ... With its interpolation of images and sounds—mixing Romanian pop and television culture, philosophy and parody—Hotel Dallas is the courageous act of a daughter reflecting, poetically and lucidly, on her family history and beyond." Sentieri Selvaggi

"A spellbinding and singular approach to an already fascinating intersection between pop culture, politics, and personal struggle." Ann Arbor Observer

"Unconventional  ... intimate ... It is simultaneously an ode to a gilded TV drama from a now bygone age, a conversation about life under communism, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and a musical about vegetable oil ... But more than all that, Hotel Dallas is a film about the slippery nature of our own memories." Knoxville Mercury

"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")

"Four stars ... Easily the weirdest movie to experience at this year's Hot Docs." Scene Creek

"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 Profiles

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 of Dreams: Cultural Shifts and Historical Disconnects in Hotel Dallas Revista ARTA

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

Nailed it: HTN Features (Interview) Hammer to Nail

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

Knoxville Native Sherng-Lee Huang to Present 'Dallas'-inspired Film at KMA
Knoxville News Sentinel

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 

Fantasy Meets Documentary in Hotel Dallas Johnson City Press

Audience Grows for Jacksonville Film Event Anniston Star

Dallas, the Saga that Ended the Dictatorship of Ceausescu El Español

TV and Radio Profiles

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

Dallas Goes German: Filmmakers Debut Ode to Dallas TV Series The CW 33




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


Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama) World Premiere - 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)

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

Vukovar Film Festival Vukovar, Croatia (Aug 27)

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)

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

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

Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL (Nov 9)*

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

 St. Louis International Film Festival St. Louis, MO (Nov 11)

Exground FilmFest Wiesbaden, Germany (Nov 11-20)

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)*

Mirror Mountain Film Festival Ottawa, Canada (Dec 2)

Museum of Modern Art Hometown Premiere NYC (Dec 16 & 19)


Anthology Film Archives NYC (Jan 11)

Bergamo Film Meeting Bergamo, Italy (Mar 11-19)

Ann Arbor Film Festival Founder's Spirit Award - Ann Arbor, MI (Mar 21-26)

FIDBA Documentary Film Festival Jury Special Mention - Buenos Aires, Argentina (July 28)


Southern Circuit filmmaker tour, sponsored by SouthArts