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Synopsis

 


In the 80s, "Dallas" is the hottest TV show in communist Romania. Presented as a critique of capitalism, the glitzy American soap opera instead inflames the dreams and desires of the oppressed country, including Ilie and his daughter Livia. He’s a small-time criminal; 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 nation’s past. This surreal mix of fiction and documentary premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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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, installations, and performances. In 2016, they were included in Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film."  With the support of grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and Yale School of Art, their work has been shown at the Berlin International Film Festival, the National Gallery of Art in D.C., the Stavros Niarchos Center in Greece, and the Des Moines Art Center. They have won Jury Awards at Montreal Underground Film Festival, FIVA Video Art Festival, and Leiria Film Festival . "Hotel Dallas" is their first feature. 


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.


Crew

 

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

Main Cast
(in order of appearance)

 

B
J
Young Livia
P
Brother, et al
B's Mom, et al
Livia
Ilie
Himself
Mom
Jeff Koons
The Artist
Simona
Steluta
Emil
Vali
Newscaster
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

 

 
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Press

 


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


"25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM 2016"
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
 

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

 
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Screenings


Booking

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

Past (2016)

Berlin International Film Festival - 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 (June 4-6)

Romanian Cinematheque - Bucharest, Romania (June 10)

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

Indie Street Film Festival - Red Bank, NJ (July 8)


Upcoming (2016)

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

Raindance Film Festival - London, UK (Sep 21-Oct 2)

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival - Hot Springs, AR (Oct 7-16)

Tacoma Film Festival - 25 New Faces of Independent Film - Tacoma, WA (Oct 7-9)

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 - 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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact


ungurhuang@gmail.com

NYC