Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier’s “Dreaming Walls,” about the Manhattan institution and its controversial renovation, world premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlinale in February. Magnolia plans to release the film in theaters and on-demand this summer.
The Chelsea Hotel, an icon of 1960s counterculture, was a haven for famous artists and intellectuals including Patti Smith, Janis Joplin and the superstars of Warhol’s Factory. However, the building’s lengthy renovation into a luxury hotel, which has spanned more than 10 years, has been a source of ongoing frustration for its tenants, as dozens of them, many in their later years, still live amid scaffolding and constant construction.
Against this chaotic backdrop, the film travels through the hotel’s storied halls, exploring the bohemian origins that contributed to the Chelsea’s mythical stature.
“’Dreaming Walls’ is an incredible reverie of a film, flooded with beautiful memories,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier have fashioned a fitting ode to all the ghosts and past inhabitants of the Chelsea.”
Van Elmbt and Duverdier added: “We are delighted and honored to be part of the beautiful and strong Magnolia family. We couldn’t have expected a better home for our film. Magnolia reflects our love and fight for independent cinema. As European directors, it means a lot to collaborate with such a great distributor in the U.S.”
London-headquartered documentary specialists Dogwoof are handling worldwide sales on the doc, which is produced by Clin d’Oeil Films and Les Films de l’Oeil Sauvage, in association with Momento Film, Basalt Film, Media International and Hard Working Movies.
“Dreaming Walls” is produced by Hanne Phlypo and Quentin Laurent. Co-producers are Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Simone van den Broek and David Herdies. Executive producers are Scorsese and Lori Cheatle. Editors are Alain Dessauvage and Julie Naas, and composer is Michael Andrews.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia executive VP Dori Begley and senior VP of acquisitions John Von Thaden, with Cleo Veger and Ana Vicente of Dogwoof on behalf of the filmmakers.
Check out a trailer for the film below: