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Celebrity Travel & Style

'Stories from Langham Place' Starring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

March 22, 2017 -

The staff at Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue are accustomed to welcoming back guests for multiple visits. Sometimes those guests are famous faces such as legendary basketball star-turned-ombudsman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In an effort to showcase a slice of Langham Life, Langham Place partnered with filmmaker Michael Donnelly to create a short film starring Kareem – Stories From Langham Place, the first in a proposed series set at the luxurious Fifth Avenue hotel. The film, which takes viewers through day-in-the-life of Kareem at the hotel, features his interactions with the staff at Langham Place; his experience at Ai Fiori and Bar Fiori, the award-winning restaurant and adjoining bar and lounge on Langham Place’s second floor; and the larger-than-average guest rooms that have helped to make Kareem such a fan of the Langham Place experience.

“I keep coming back to Langham Place, New York because it is a place where I uniquely fit, literally as well as figuratively” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, star of the first installment of “Stories from Langham Place”. “Not only does it have oversized rooms, with high ceilings and doors, which are ideal for me, but it offers me a sense of calm and serenity when I’m visiting New York City, or, as I put it in the film, ‘space to think’.”

“Traveling and living in hotels I was always intrigued by the idea of showing, in an artful and creative way, the real inner workings of life at a hotel, specifically how guests interact in this uniquely private space that offers safety and is at once familiar and foreign,” said filmmaker Michael Donnelly. “I think the concept of taking a look behind not just the doors of the hotel but also into the mind of such a well-known personality is a perfect subject matter for a short film.”

“We are always thrilled to see Mr. Abdul-Jabbar at our hotel,” said Richard Bussiere, Managing Director of Langham Place, New York. “We are confident that his fans will love to see this elegant vignette that captures his particular experience staying at Langham Place, especially his true-to-life interactions with our colleagues.”

Created as a short film that will be part of a larger future series, “Stories from Langham Place” was directed and produced by Michael Donnelly. It was shot entirely in black-and-white, and chronicles, start to finish, the arrival of Kareem at his favorite hotel, Langham Place, New York, interwoven with an unusual form of narration – the inner musings of Kareem himself. Kareem’s perception of New York, his hometown, and the world around him are what inspire his writings for Time Magazine and in his many published books. And, as shown in the film, Langham Place and its friendly and helpful staff give him the much needed “space to think” to find that inspiration.

Born in South Africa, Donnelly also considers himself a New Yorker after 30 years in the city. Having spent most of his career traveling around the globe as a fashion and design photographer, he has recently parlayed his love of storytelling and film into a prosperous production company. “Stories from Langham Place” is his first project in partnership with a hotel.


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