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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 May, 2005, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
Producer Merchant buried in India
Relatives and friends carry the casket of Ismail Merchant, 68, to the cemetery for burial
Family, friends and Indian film stars attended his funeral
Merchant Ivory producer Ismail Merchant, who died last week, has been buried in his home city in India.

Relatives and friends attended the funeral in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, on Saturday afternoon.

Several actors from the Indian film industry who had worked with Merchant also attended the funeral.

Merchant, who made acclaimed period films such as Howards End, A Room With A View, and Remains of the Day with James Ivory, died on Wednesday aged 68.

Stomach problems

Jaya Ramachandran, a production coordinator who worked with Merchant for 10 years, said: "It was ... his wish to be buried in India, and he wanted to be buried near his mum."

Merchant died in a London hospital but the cause of death was unclear.

A spokesman said the Indian-born producer had suffered from stomach problems over the past year.

Ismail Merchant (right) with film-making partner James Ivory
Ismail Merchant (right) had a long partnership with James Ivory

Merchant Ivory won six Oscars since the pair's famous partnership began in 1961 with German-born screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Merchant met Ivory in a New York coffee shop and their first film, The Householder, was based on a novel by Prawer Jhabvala.

Their films helped revive audiences' tastes for period dramas, and helped actress Emma Thompson win a best actress Oscar for the 1992 film Howards End.

Merchant produced almost 50 films for the company and turned his hand to directing on a handful of occasions.

The collaboration went on to earn them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest partnership in independent cinema.

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