Taiwanese American Ang Lee Wins Best Director Academy Award for Life of Pi

TaiwaneseAmerican.org congratulates Director Ang Lee for winning his 2nd Academy Award for Best Director!

On Sunday, February 24th, 2013, Taiwanese American director Ang Lee was awarded his 2nd Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing for his vision and work on Life of Pi (2012). It seemed to be a surprise moment for Mr. Lee, though many in the Taiwanese American community and among his fans around the world rooted for this win, the 4th Oscar recognition for the film and the most of any film in competition that evening. It was widely believed that Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg was the frontrunner for this category for his film Lincoln (2012).

In Ang Lee’s acceptance speech, he widely praised his producers, cast and crew, his wife and family, and Taiwan and the city of Taichung:

“Thank you Movie God. I really need to share this with all 3000, everybody work with me on Life of Pi. I want to thank you… I really want to thank you for believing this story and sharing this incredible journey with me… I can not make this movie without the help of Taiwan. We shot there. I want to thank everybody there… especially the city of Taichung… My family in Taiwan, my wife… I love you… Thank you, Academy. Xie xie. Namaste.”

Without a doubt, many Taiwanese Americans, Taiwanese, and other supporters were extremely excited about this moment, not only because of Ang Lee’s much-deserved recognition, but also because Taiwan and city of Taichung received so much praise during this worldwide broadcast. As one TaiwaneseAmerican.org Facebook commenter Julian Bush wrote, “I think that’s the first time Taichung has ever been namedropped at the Oscars.” Another fan Chi Lu posted her praise for Ang Lee in Mandarin, “台灣之光,” which translates to “Glory of Taiwan.”

Within hours, TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s own Facebook post about the win received over 400 “Likes” and reached over 11,000 views, an impressive number given that our Facebook Page has just over 6000 followers to date. In addition, as we tracked responses, positive comments and “Taiwan pride” posts lit up Facebook feeds. As one of our staff members Eric Kao noted, “My news feed just blew up with Ang Lee posts.” Will Tiao, executive producer of Formosa Betrayed (2009) posted, “I had a feeling this would happen… Congrats to Taiwan’s Ang Lee for his Oscar win for Best Director of Life of Pi — extremely well deserved!”

Most of the film’s principal photography, production, and filming took place in various locations and sets in Taiwan, including Kenting National Park, the Taipei Zoo, and Taichung, Taiwan. Other locations included Canada and parts of India.

Adapted from Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, Life of Pi tells the story of an Indian man Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, who recounts an event that occurred to him at the age of 16. When his family decides to move from India to Canada, they encounter a tragic ship accident, leaving Pi as the lone human survivor among a handful of zoo animals. Through this epic journey on the sea trapped in a lifeboat, he must find a way to survive alongside another survivor… an aggressive Bengal tiger who he names Richard Parker. It is a story that explores themes of perseverance, faith, and truth.

Ang Lee, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Tisch School of the Arts of NYU, has directed an impressive, yet diverse array, of award-winning films such as The Wedding Banquet (1993), Eat Drink Man Woman (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Best Foreign Language film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and Hulk (2003). He previously won the Academy Award for Best Director for Brokeback Mountain (2005).

We at TaiwaneseAmerican.org look forward to seeing what else Mr. Ang Lee has in store for the future. Congratulations on this awesome recognition! Again!


One Response to “Taiwanese American Ang Lee Wins Best Director Academy Award for Life of Pi”

  1. I had no idea that some of that movie was filmed in Taipei Zoo! I interned there a couple summers ago. Will definitely have to read/watch “Life of Pi” now. Does anyone know if Ang Lee has any new projects coming up?

Leave a Reply