The screening will mark the Academy Award-winning director’s return to NYFF 12 years after his 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' served as the Closing Night Gala presentation in 2000. The selection of 'Pi' also allows Lee to join Robert Altman, Pedro Almodóvar and François Truffaut as the only directors to have had more than one film chosen to open NYFF as 'The Ice Storm' did so in 1997 (click here for list of all 50 NYFF opening films).
“'Life of Pi' is a perfect combination of technological innovation and a strong artistic vision," said Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center. "Ang Lee has managed to make a deeply moving, engrossing work that will delight audiences as much as it will astonish them. We're enormously proud to have this film for our Opening Night for the 50th NYFF."
Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller list, 'Life of Pi' takes place over three continents, two oceans, many years, and a wide world of imagination. As described by NYFF: "Lee’s vision, coupled with game-changing technological breakthroughs, has turned a story long thought un-filmable into a totally original cinematic event and the first truly international all-audience motion picture. 'Life of Pi' follows a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While marooned on a lifeboat, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship¹s only other survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger."
"I am both delighted and honored to be back at the New York Film Festival with 'Life of Pi.,'" Ang Lee said. "I have the deepest respect for Richard Peña and his team and to be selected by them as the Opening Night Film for the 50th Anniversary is extremely gratifying. I am also excited because this is my hometown, and to be unveiling this film that I am so proud of here is a real pleasure."
The Twentieth Century Fox release is due in theaters on November 21, 2012. The New York Film Festival runs September 28-October 14.