Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee could not attend a special screening of Life of Pi in New Delhi but in a special message the director expressed his gratitude "for all the help and inspiration I got from India." The special screening of Pi was organised by Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC) last evening which was also the birthday of its lead star Suraj Sharma who attended the event with co-star Adil Hussain.
TECC held the screening to celebrate the film's success at the recent Oscars.
"I'm sorry I cannot physically be here today, but I am here in spirit. Life of Pi is a very special journey. I feel like it's karma that brought me to the project, and to India. I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for all the help and inspiration I got from India," said Lee's statement, read out by Ambassador Chung-Kwang Tien.
Lee, who won the Best Director Oscar this year for his 3D fantasy-adventure, said: "I was deeply inspired by the culture, and the government provided enormous support in the making of the film. The brilliant Indian cast brought the story to life, and was embraced by the whole world." The yesterday's screening coincided with Suraj's 20th birthday. TECC had organized a birthday celebration for the actor.
"Irrfan, Tabu, Adil, Ayush were all wonderful, and what can I say about the incredible Suraj Sharma, who carried so much of the film on his shoulders? But most of all, when I filmed here, the skill and the friendly support from the local crew really warmed my heart," Lee said before wishing Suraj on his birthday.
Directed by Taiwan-born Lee and starring Indian actors like Sharma, Hussain, Irrfan and Tabu in key roles, Pi represents the best of Indo-Taiwanese collaborations.
Ambassador Tien said the film was a beautiful example of how both countries can work together and deepen relations.
"Ang Lee, a director from Taiwan makes a beautiful film with Indian actors based on a story from this country. This is a perfect example of how both India and Taiwan can cooperate in various spheres," Tien said.