‘Merchant Ivory’ Documentary Acquired By Cohen Media Group – Upnewsdaily

‘Merchant Ivory’ Documentary Acquired By Cohen Media Group – Upnewsdaily

EXCLUSIVE: Cohen Media Group has acquired worldwide rights to Merchant Ivory, a documentary about the cinematic and personal partnership of filmmakers James Ivory and Ismail Merchant. The film directed by Stephen Soucy makes it world premiere on Saturday at DOC NYC.

Merchant Ivory became synonymous with quality filmmaking over a period of more than 40 years, earning particular acclaim for A Room with a View (1985), Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), Howards End (1992), and The Remains of the Day (1993). They were life partners from 1961 until Merchant’s death in 2005.

Soucy’s film features interviews with major stars of Merchant Ivory productions, including Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Hugh Grant. Ivory, who turned 95 in June, and Charles S. Cohen, CMG Chairman and CEO, serve as executive producers.

Director James Ivory (L) with actor Anthony Hopkins and producer Ismail Merchant on the set of 'The Remains of the Day' in 1993.

Director James Ivory (L) with actor Anthony Hopkins and producer Ismail Merchant on the set of ‘The Remains of the Day’ in 1993.

Merchant Ivory is the first comprehensive feature documentary to lend new and compelling perspectives on the partnership, both professional and personal, of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant and their primary associates, writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and composer Richard Robbins,” notes a release about the film. “Footage from more than 50 interviews, clips and archival material gives voice to the family of actors and technicians who helped define Merchant Ivory’s Academy Award-winning work of consummate quality and intelligence. With six Oscar winners among the notable artists participating, these close and often long-term collaborators intimately detail the transformational cinematic creativity and personal and professional drama of the wandering company that left an indelible impact on film culture.”

Ivory became the oldest Oscar winner in history when, at the age of 89, he won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for Call Me By Your Name. Many of his films with Merchant have been restored and rereleased by Cohen Media Group.

James Ivory in 'Merchant Ivory'

James Ivory in ‘Merchant Ivory’

Merchant Ivory marks the latest collaboration in our important and longstanding relationship with James Ivory, one of modern cinema’s finest directors,” Cohen said in a statement. 

Ivory added, “I’m grateful and flattered to have played a part in such a wonderful tribute to the films Ismail, Ruth and I and many others worked so hard to create.”

CMG acquired the film during production in a deal with Soucy’s production company, Modernist Film. It plans a 2024 North American theatrical release.

Director Stephen Soucy stands behind Oscar winner James Ivory.

Director Stephen Soucy stands behind Oscar winner James Ivory.

Soucy commented, “I’m delighted to be working with Cohen Media to share the story of this unique filmmaking group: The Merchant Ivory Family, the Wandering Company, helmed by James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, as they remained fiercely independent through each successive decade of work, and entertained audiences around the world.”

Soucy is a filmmaker and theater producer with screen credits that include the animated short Rich Atmosphere: The Music of Merchant Ivory Films, the documentary short Art and Provincetown and the short fiction films A Gifted Amateur and Slant. His current theater work includes Romy and Michele The Musical, and Cake: The Marie Antoinette Playlist.

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