Christopher Manning set for James Ivory feature documentary, with interviews from Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter and more
Documentary short and narrative short filmmaker Christopher Manning (Jamie, Isha, Nowhere) will make his feature directorial debut with James Ivory: In Search of Love and Beauty, a biographical documentary about award-winning director and screenwriter James Ivory.
The film will chronicle the life and work of the 94-year-old who has enjoyed a career revival after winning the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name and is behind such celebrated films as A Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End and The Remains of the Day.
Ivory is known as one third of the powerhouse trio behind Merchant Ivory, having produced 44 films between 1961 and 2009. After the success of A Room With A View came Howards End and The Remains of the Day, and later The White Countess, both of which were penned by Nobel prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro (Academy Award nominee this year in Adapted Screenplay for Living). More recently, Ivory has reached a new generation due to the phenomenal success of 2017’s Call Me By Your Name.
The documentary will feature Ivory actors Emma Thompson (Best Actress Oscar winner for Howards End, The Remains of the Day), Helena Bonham Carter (A Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End), Hugh Grant (Maurice, The Remains of the Day) and plus director Wes Anderson (“Conversation with James Ivory”), as well as interviews with those closest to him, the documentary draws from never-before-seen archival footage, film clips, vérité sequences, behind-the-scenes outtakes and sit-down interviews to form a comprehensive portrait of the independent filmmaking icon.
Ivory says, “I am so pleased that my friend Christopher Manning chose to tell my story this way and will bring together so many artists and treasured collaborators to be a part of it. I deeply respect and trust his vision and have enjoyed lending my voice to the process.”
“James Ivory has touched generations of audiences through his seminal films and is an inspiration for the way that he has continued to reinvent himself over the course of an unparalleled career,” Manning says. “It’s a true joy learning from one of our great cinema artists. I am thrilled to be making this very personal portrait.”
Manning’s short films were made with the support of the British Film Institute and British Council, and received numerous nominations and awards at festivals worldwide. Manning will also write the script and produce with John D. Eraklis of Exodus Film Group serving as Executive Producer.
Shot in New York, Venice, Florence, London, Paris and Southern Oregon, James Ivory: In Search of Love and Beauty follows Ivory from his youth and rise to international acclaim, through the tragic loss of longtime creative partners Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, to the present, telling the story of his evolution to an Academy Award-winning screenwriter who leads an active and creative life well into his 10th decade.
Photos courtesy of Alistair Little, Frazer Harrison at Getty Images