TAICHUNG, TAIWAN -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- Taiwanese film director Ang Lee received the Best Director award at the 85th Oscar Academy Awards for his recent work, "Life of Pi," which earned a total of four Oscar Awards. The Taichung City Government, which made great efforts to ensure that filming went smoothly during production, hosted a celebration party on March 3 for Lee. At this event, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu presented Ang Lee with an "Honorary Taichung Citizen" certificate, accepted by Lee's 88-year-old mother Yang Si-Chuan Lee on his behalf. Sisy Chen, a famous Taiwanese celebrity, also attended the party to receive a thank you certificate from the Taichung City Government for her grandmother, Zhuang Mei-Hsiu He, in whose name Chen donated NT$1 million to assist Lee's production team in surveying suitable sites around Taiwan for the making of "Life of Pi."
Although Lee is currently in New York and couldn't attend the party, his brother, Gang Lee, and sister accompanied their mother to this significant event. Standing in for her son, Lee's mother received the "Honorary Taichung Citizen" certificate from Mayor Hu with great pleasure.
The mayor noted that "Ang Lee's winning of this award puts Taiwan in the spotlight of the world stage," adding that the people in Taiwan had shared in Lee's glory and were proud to point out that many scenes in this film were made in Taichung, Taiwan.
When Lee first presented his idea of making a movie about "a young boy and a tiger, drifting at sea for more than 200 days" to Mayor Hu, many countries had expressed great interest in hosting the film's production, but not Taiwan due to a lack of funds. Coincidentally, Sisy Chen was in Taichung at that time to pay tribute to her late grandmother on her 100th birthday. Recognizing the appeal of Lee's idea, she generously donated NT$1 million to Taichung City Government to promote the city's movie industry.
Chen stressed that the donation was given under her grandmother's name; thus, "it is my grandmother who shares Ang Lee's glory." Noting that her grandmother was an ordinary woman, Chen said that the thank you certificate presented by Taichung City Government was an ultimate form of recognition that the woman did not receive during her living days. Chen also emphasized that she and her family would continue to support the development of Taiwan's film industry.
Ang Lee's brother, Gang Lee, is also a movie director and revealed that his brother's greatest dream was to allow the whole world to hear and see Taichung and Taiwan at the Oscar Awards ceremony, regarded as the global film industry's best-known event. "He did it," added Gang Lee. The happiest thing in Ang Lee's life has been to open up the eyes of the world to Taiwan and, encouraged by his success, Taichung is planning on building a Mid-Taiwan Movie Promotion Park. Commenting on this, Gang Lee believes that "where there is a will, there is a way." The day before receiving the Honorary Taichung Citizen certificate, Ang Lee called his brother and asked him to convey his gratitude and share his pride with the citizens of Taichung, Mayor Hu, the Taichung City Council and the many others who supported "Life of Pi." Its honors belong to everyone in Taiwan (Taichung City Government, Information Bureau Advertisement).
Taichung Mayor Jason Hu grants an "Honorary Taichung Citizen" certificate for Ang Lee to his mother, Yang Si-Chuan Lee (second from the right), who accepted it on his behalf.
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