The New York film festival will kick off its 50th annual edition on Sept. 28 with the world premiere of "Life of Pi." 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.
In making the announcement, festival exec Richard Pena said the film, "is a perfect combination of technological innovation and a strong artistic vision. 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."
The NYFF sure loves Lee. 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.
As seen in the trailer below, Lee's film version of Yann Martel's 2001 best-selling fantasy novel promises to be a visual delight. Oscar nominated scripter David Magee ("Finding Neverland," 2004) adapted this fanciful tale of a boy who survives a shipwreck only to find himself sharing the lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, zebra and Bengal tiger.