Eastman to house Merchant Ivory archive

Collection includes more than 40 films

Merchant Ivory Prods. is donating its archives - which encompasses 2,600 items, including more than 40 films, including such Oscar-winners as "A Room With a View" and "Howard's End" - to the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film in Rochester, N.Y.
At the opening of the 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival on May 5, director James Ivory will be honored with the title of George Eastman Honorary Scholar. The fest will also present his newest film, "The City of Your Final Destination," starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney.

Ivory's producing partner Ismail Merchant, who died in 2005, had met personally with Eastman House representatives to plan the gift, which includes original negatives, interpositives, and 35mm archive prints made from the original negatives of some of Merchant Ivory’s films. According to Ivory, it was Merchant’s dream to back this original material up with his own collection of his relevant contracts, correspondence, and other business papers that give an idea of how their indie production company operated successfully for more than four decades on four continents.

"Ismail Merchant's worry for years was that all those films of ours, made in so many places, stored in so many labs around the world, would never be brought safely home and might be lost," Ivory said. "Now the George Eastman House motion picture archive is that home, safeguarding the continuing life of Merchant Ivory's work for the next generations."