Design-Driven AC Hotels by Marriott® Brand Debuts in New York City

Midtown Manhattan’s Hottest New Property Features Elegant Year-Round Rooftop Lounge with Views of the Empire State Building, Creating an Oasis of Calm in the Heart of the City

Times Square remains the beating heart of Manhattan, and now travelers can be at the center of the action while still having space to reflect with the opening of the new AC Hotel New York Times Square. This new AC Hotel is perfectly positioned near the Garment District and only a half-block from the Times Square public transportation hub. The hotel is the first of two planned for the European-inspired AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Manhattan this year, with a second property expected to open in the Financial District later in 2018.

AC Hotels by Marriott Logo

AC Hotels by Marriott logo

The Midtown hotel melds an urban vibe with classic elements that hark back to the brand’s Spanish roots. The entrance lobby is 23 feet high with a large, open staircase to the lower level illuminated by a skylight shed roof. Its 290 guest rooms will offer an oasis in the midst of the bustle of NYC with a sleek and classic modern style. With options like floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, guests can enjoy unparalleled city views.

AC Hotel New York Times Square features two food and beverage experiences. The beloved NYC restaurant Boqueria will bring its lively Spanish tapas and signature convivial spirit to 260 West 40th Street, adjacent to the new AC Hotel lobby. The restaurant features a location-specific breakfast menu, a large rotisserie, and time-honored favorites like Pan Con Tomate, Pulpo a la Plancha, and Paella de Mariscos from Catalan chef Marc Vidal. Castell, a year-round rooftop lounge will be open to guests and locals alike when it debuts in May 2018, serving up views of NYC’s iconic skyline along with shareable plates, Happy Hour rituals, and cocktails, including the brand’s signature Gin & Tonic.

We are delighted to introduce New York City to the AC brand’s ‘New Way to Hotel,'” says Corry Oakes, President/CEO of OTO Development, the Johnson Management company that developed and operates the new hotel. “In addition to intriguing architectural details, local artwork in common spaces, and dynamic culinary options at Boqueria and Castell Lounge, what guests will truly appreciate is having space to breathe in this city that never sleeps.

AC Hotel New York Times Square brings travelers the best of contemporary European architecture infused with the design-forward spirit of the NYC Fashion District, as interpreted by Helpern Architects. Visitors are drawn into the elegant, double-height lobby via a granite-paved plaza; as they enter through the pleated glass façade, they become immediately aware of the signature materials such as Venetian terrazzo, quarter-sawn dark walnut millwork, and the dark patina of statuary bronze that makes the whole area glow. The modern-day grand stair that wraps top to bottom of the lobby and the large, open well-lit space make for the perfect backdrop for the property’s impressive art installations.

With the Spanish heritage of the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, our design-driven hotel brings new inspiration to the city,” says Benjamin Britton, General Manager of AC Hotel New York Times Square. “We provide everything essential you need – and nothing you don’t – creating a seamless, tranquil and frictionless experience for our guests, whether they’re traveling for business or leisure.

The AC Hotel in Times Square has developed signature programming, with attention to detail at every step – each one crafted to encourage guests to slow down in this hectic city. With elements such as lavender sachets at turndown (freshly made each day) to help promote better sleep, guests will feel taken care of but not fussed over. Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, 3,365 square feet of event space, and an AC Market featuring locally sourced items such as Hell’s Kitchen Hot Sauces.

“At AC Hotels, everything is done with intention while creating harmony – we believe if we have time to make it, we have time to make it beautiful,” said Benoit Racle, Global Brand Leader, AC Hotels by Marriott. “We are so pleased to welcome AC Hotel New York Times Square to the AC Hotels family as our first New York City property, and to be able to offer visitors and locals in Manhattan a tranquil space in the heart of the city to relax, reflect and reset.

The purposeful design of AC Hotel New York Times Square also features a collection of artwork by a mix of local and well-known artists. Ranging from sculptures to abstract painting, these expressive pieces are visible in shared spaces to inspire guests during their stay – one could almost call it a private art gallery. Guest room walls feature photography of New York City’s unique and iconic architecture such as Fulton Street Station and the Oculus.

Awards Rules Approved For 91st Oscars®

Campaign Regulations Updated For New Awards Seasonunnamed

The times, they are a changing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesBoard of Governors has approved Oscars® rules and campaign regulations for the 91st Academy Awards®.

New Oscar rules include:

  • Submission deadlines for awards eligibility have been changed. There is now one submission deadline – Monday, October 1, 2018 – for the Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories. The submission deadline for Best Picture and all other categories is Thursday, November 15, by 5 p.m. PT.
  • In the Music categories, all members of the Music Branch will view films eligible for Original Score and film clips of eligible Original Songs and vote in a preliminary round to produce a shortlist of 15 titles in each category using the preferential voting system. Five nominees for Original Score and five nominees for Original Song will then be chosen by branch members in a second round of balloting also using preferential voting.
  • In the Documentary Feature category, films that have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival will be eligible for Academy Awards consideration regardless of any prior public exhibition or distribution by nontheatrical means. The Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List will be available later this spring. Furthermore, the critic review eligibility requirement has been expanded to include additional New York- and Los Angeles-based publications.
  • To align with credits eligibility in the Best Picture category, rules in both the Animated Feature Film and Documentary Feature categories have been updated to allow for more than one producer to be designated as a nominee.
  • In a procedural change, members of the Visual Effects Branch Nominating Committee will now be able to stream bake-off reels from the shortlisted films or attend satellite bake-off screenings and vote online. Previously, committee members were only able to vote in person at the Academy’s Visual Effects Bake-off in Los Angeles.
  • Other amendments to the rules include standard date changes and other “housekeeping” adjustments.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards and Events Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Board of Governors for approval.

Updated campaign regulations, which specify how companies and individuals may promote to Academy members any movies and achievements eligible for the 91st Academy Awards, are also presented to the Board of Governors for approval.

  • For the first time, studios, distributors, and filmmakers will be required to use an Academy-approved mailing house to send sanctioned awards materials for eligible films to Academy members. Each approved mailing house will be provided with an official list of Academy members who have opted-in along with their contact information to facilitate both physical and digital mailings.
  • Additionally, the number of post-nominations screenings with a filmmaker Q&A is now limited to a maximum of four regardless of category or country in which the event takes place. This rule eliminates the two additional screenings currently allowed for Documentary and Foreign Language Film nominees.

For the complete 91st Academy Awards rules, visit oscars.org/rules.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

“Beyond I Do” Campaign Launches to Raise Awareness about the Prevalence of Discrimination Against LGBT People in the United States

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Campaign highlights that Americans are being denied housing, losing their jobs, and being refused services because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

A recently-launched campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States, despite the widespread misconception they have basic protections.

The public service campaign from the Ad Council, in partnership with the Gill Foundation, promotes acceptance, empathy, and understanding for the millions of LGBT Americans who can be kicked out of their homes, fired from their jobs or denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Created by ad agency CP+B with research and strategy from Redscout, the “Beyond I Do” campaign will confront the common misconception that LGBT Americans received full equality along with the right to marry.LGBTQ-Fired-Bus-17.5hX12w-Eng.indd

The campaign highlights many stories of Americans who have faced discrimination across the country, along with facts about discrimination, at BeyondIDo.org. They speak for the 55 percent of LGBT people who have reported being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.1 And while public opinion research shows 79 percent of non-LGBT Americans support equality for LGBT people, 80 percent mistakenly believe it’s illegal under federal law to fire, evict or refuse service to someone because they are LGBT.2 3 In reality, 31 states lack comprehensive protections and allow these acts of discrimination against LGBT Americans.4

Everyone should have the ability to live in safety, support their families, and go about their daily lives without the fear of being turned away because they’re gay or transgender,” said Lisa Sherman, Ad Council President, and CEO. “By sharing powerful and poignant stories, this campaign highlights the values we hold so dear as Americans and provides a real opportunity to grow awareness and empathy.”BID-Rights-Print-7wX10h-Eng.indd

Beyond I Do” features stories of Americans from across the country who have been fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, or denied services because they are LGBT. They include: Continue reading