2014   James Ivory

James Ivory is one of the most important and awarded film directors of our time. Ivory enjoyed an unprecedented collaboration with Indian producer Ismail Merchant, who died in 2008, and the German writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Merchant Ivory Productions’ first feature in 1961, The Householder, was scripted by Jhabvala and based on her early novel. Early Ivory films, including the acclaimed Shakespeare Wallah, are set in India and are very much influenced by the style of Satyajit Ray and Jean Renoir. Later Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala collaborations were notable for their sensitivity and brilliance in adapting the great novels of writers like Henry James (The Bostonians, The Europeans), E. M Forster (A Room With a View, Maurice, and Howard’s End), and Kazuo Ishiguro (Remains of the Day). These films were showered with Academy Award nominations and wins, along with countless critics’ and festival prizes.

At the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, James Ivory will present several of his less frequently revived adaptations of modern novels. Ivory’s most recent feature, City of Your Final Destination (2009), starring Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will play on opening night, when Mr. Ivory will receive the Levantine Cinema Arts Award and be joined by City of Your Final Destination novelist Peter Cameron. In the following days, Mr. Ivory will present and discuss two of his personal favorites, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, based on Evan S. Connell’s novel and starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and The City of Your Final Destination.