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RICH ATMOSPHERE: THE MUSIC OF MERCHANT IVORY FILMS to Debut at OutFest 2020's Digital Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival

The film is produced, directed, and written by Stephen Soucy.

RICH ATMOSPHERE: THE MUSIC OF MERCHANT IVORY FILMS to Debut at OutFest 2020's Digital Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival

The animated short film Rich Atmosphere: The Music of Merchant Ivory Films - produced, directed, and written by Stephen Soucy - will be featured as official selection this month for OutFest 2020's digital Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, starting August 25. Narrated by Oscar-winning director and screenwriter James Ivory, the short showcases the impact of the late composer Richard Robbins on Merchant Ivory films. Robbins' most memorable scores include A Room with a View, Maurice, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day. Rich Atmosphere features illustrations and animation direction by London-based, Jack Cunningham of Nexus Studios. For tickets and information, please visit OutfestLA2020.com.

STEPHEN SOUNCY is a filmmaker and theater producer. His film projects include the short documentary film Art and Provincetown, and the short fiction films A Gifted Amateur and Slant. Current theater work includes acting as the co-lead producer of the Broadway-bound Romy and Michele The Musical, based on the iconic movie comedy Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

Soucy is also developing, producing and directing the feature documentary film Merchant Ivory, in collaboration with Oscar-winning, director and screenwriter, James Ivory. The film will be the definitive presentation and tribute to the Merchant Ivory partnership, anchored by interviews with James Ivory and forty-one Merchant Ivory close collaborators detailing and celebrating their experiences of being a part of the "wandering company" helmed by legendary producer Ismail Merchant. In addition to extensive interview footage with Ivory, other completed interviews include film luminaries Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Hugh Grant, in addition to many other performers and behind the scenes talent.

"Merchant Ivory films stand the test of time," says Soucy. "They tackle universal themes that appealed to global audiences in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s and on into the early 2000s. Watching the films now, they do not feel dated. They resonate still. The story of Merchant Ivory, the way they surrounded themselves with artisans and close collaborators, and maintained these relationships for decades, is an inspiration to those who work in the creative arts. I started this journey with the animated film short, Rich Atmosphere: The Music in Merchant Ivory Films, which has led to the next step in my working relationship with James Ivory: developing a full-length documentary film. The upcoming property will share their story with the world: the successes, the challenges, the behind-the-scenes workings of one of the first fiercely independent production companies. In addition, Jim and Ismail's personal partnership has been largely shrouded in secrecy. James and others now speak more openly about their relationship."

"Working closely with this legend of cinema has been an honor," Soucy continues. "Jim has been a mentor, provided input on the film, and has approved each step in the process. We are now in post-production, assembling the final edit and hope to complete the project mid-fall 2020. I've learned so much from Jim, not just from the four in-depth, on-camera interviews I conducted, but a great deal when the cameras were off. If he believes in you, and gives you the chance to shine, it means the world. At 93, James Ivory is still working on new projects, including screenplays to follow up on his Oscar win for Call Me by Your Name, and a memoir, Solid Ivory, to be published next spring. Slowing down doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary."

James Ivory is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. For many years he worked extensively with Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his domestic as well as professional partner, and with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All three were principals in Merchant Ivory Productions, whose films have won six Academy Awards; Ivory himself has been nominated for four Oscars, winning one. For his work on Call Me by Your Name (2017), which he wrote and produced, Ivory won awards for Best Adapted Screenplay from the Academy Awards, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Writers Guild of America, the Critics' Choice Awards, and the Scripter Awards, among others. Upon winning the Oscar and BAFTA at the age of 89, Ivory became the oldest-ever winner in any category for both awards.


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