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Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel


North American Premiere

FEATURE | France, Belgium, United States, Netherlands, Sweden | 80 MINUTES | English |


New York, Documentary

The Manhattan of 30 years ago would be unrecognizable next to the Manhattan of today. Dreaming Walls documents one of the last enclaves of old New York bohemia as it refuses to go gently into that good night. The film focuses on the famous Chelsea Hotel, which is on the verge of a massive (and not entirely welcome) transformation. Developers want to turn the Chelsea into a posh boutique hotel, monetizing the building’s counterculture past. But the aging bohemians, libertine artists, and passionate preservationists who still maintain a permanent address at the Chelsea aren’t going anywhere, even if it means they have to live on a literal construction site. 

Directors Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt shoot Dreaming Walls in a fly-on-the-wall vérité style, using ghostly projections and archival footage to tell the story of the Chelsea’s past. No such embellishment is needed to make the current residents compelling: As fine a group of eccentrics as has ever been assembled, they capture the spirit of New York better than any ad agency ever could. Liza Domnitz


Directed by Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier

Amélie van Elmbt studied at the IAD Film School. In 2011, she directed her first feature film, Headfirst. Her second feature The Elephant & The Butterfly premiered at Tribeca. Maya Duverdier holds a master’s degree in film from École cantonale d’art de Lausanne. Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel is her first feature-length documentary.

Amélie van Elmbt, Maya Duverdier
Executive Producer (Main Credit)
Martin Scorsese
Hanne Phlypo, Quentin Laurent
Joachim Philippe, Virginie Surdej
Michael Andrews
Alain Dessauvage, Julie Naas
Executive Producer
Lori Cheatle
Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Simone van den Broek, David Herdies
US Distributor
Magnolia Pictures


Press Contact
Susan Norget
Susan Norget Film Promotion
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 917-833-3056
Print Source
George Nicholis
Magnolia Pictures
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 924 6701
US Sales Contact
George Nicholis
Magnolia Pictures
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 924 6701
International Sales Contact
George Nicholis
Magnolia Pictures
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 924 6701