Cohen Media Group Acquires Merchant Ivory Library

AP Images/Invision
Charles S. Cohen

The deal includes worldwide distribution rights to 21 features.

Cohen Media Group has acquired the 30-title library of Merchant Ivory Productions in a deal that includes the worldwide distribution rights to 21 features, along with nine documentaries and short films.

Cohen Media chairman and CEO Charles S. Cohen made the announcement of the acquisition. The company plans on restoring and re-releasing the films as a part of the Cohen Film Collection.

Merchant Ivory was formed by producer Ismail Merchant and the Oscar-nominated director James Ivory with the intention of making English-language films in India for international audiences.

Howards End, Maurice, Shakespeare-Wallah and Heat and Dust are just a few of the titles produced by the company, who often worked with Indian icon Shashi Kapoor.

Merchant Ivory has garnered 31 Oscar nominations, as well as six wins, while working with actors ranging from Daniel Day-Lewis and Anthony Hopkins to Paul Newman and Anjelica Huston. 

Ivory, who directed three of Merchant Ivory's films, will collaborate with Cohen on the re-releases.

"Merchant Ivory has been a peak on the twentieth century cinematic landscape, and we are honored to have James Ivory on our team working on the restoration and re-release of these magnificent films," said Cohen.

Charles S. Cohen negotiated the arrangement with James Ivory through the efforts of Stephen H. Nakamura of Merle, Brown & Nakamura representing Merchant Ivory, and Stephen Dembitzer of Dembitzer & Dembitzer LLP, Stephen Monas of Business Affairs Inc. and Libby Savill of Lathan & Watkins representing Cohen and the Cohen Film Collection.

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