“Life of Pi” kicks off the golden anniversary of the New York Film Festival Friday. This Oscar hopeful, helmed by Academy Award champ Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” 2003), is the first 3-D film given this honor. It is released domestically on Nov. 21.
That “Life of Pi” debuts at the golden anniversary edition of this filmfest that has been a good luck charm for Lee bodes well for its Oscar hopes. In 1997, his film “The Ice Storm” opened the fest and in 2000, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (which went on to reap a Best Picture bid) closed it out. Lee becomes the fourth director — after François Truffaut, Robert Altman and Pedro Almodóvar — to have two films given the opening night slot.
Oscar nominated scripter David Magee (“Finding Neverland,” 2004) adapted Yann Martel’s 2001 best-selling fantasy novel about a boy who survives a shipwreck only to find himself sharing the lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, zebra and Bengal tiger.
The director and novelist discussed the film in Gotham on Friday morning and the hour-long press conference can be seen below.