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Ang Lee calls Golden Globe nominations encouraging

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Director Ang Lee on Thursday (December 13) welcomed news that his latest movie, "Life of Pi" had received three Golden Globe nominations. Lee, who received an Oscar in 2001 for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and another in 2006 for "Brokeback Mountain", said the fact the movie had been nominated for Best Drama, Best Director, Best Original Score by Mychael Danna at the Golden Globes, was encouraging. The Academy Award-winner's latest project is his most visually ambitious to date, making extensive use of digital effects in 3D. "For a long time I carried this anxiety about how the movie would work. Would people take it? Or would they think: 'That's a strange thing.' It is so expensive. Not only did I worry about how it would play, but how it would play for the mass audience, because it should be a big movie, "The Life of Pi." It shouldn't be art house, at heart it is, but how do I keep the balance? So, that troubled me for a long time. I think it's playing well so far. It's very encouraging, now with the awards and now I witness how it played, not only in America but outside of America, in Asia it played a lot better than in America. They embrace different things." Lee spoke during a visit to Mexico where he is promoting the movie. "Life of Pi" is based upon author Yann Martel's blockbuster novel which won the Booker Prize. It tells the story of Pi Patel, an Indian teenager who becomes shipwrecked with a aggressive Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The plot is so unusual many considered it impossible to make. Pi Patel is played by Suraj Sharma, a 17-year-old from India who had no formal acting experience when he was selected for the role, but he captured Lee's attention. The world's largest self-generating wave tank built for a motion picture was constructed in director Lee's home country, Taiwan. Sharma spent countless hours floating in the tank during the film's extensive scenes depicting the ship-wrecked Pi lost in the Pacific Ocean. The early scenes of Life of Pi are set in the former French colony of Pondicherry in India. Around 5,500 local residents were hired as background actors. After filming had completed Lee, 58, took on the laborious task of using computer-generated imagery to bring the sensational plot to the big screen, taking a year and a half just to edit the movie together. "Life of Pi" has already opened to the United States and Asia, and has received glowing reviews. It begins screening in Mexico on December 20th.

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