Director Lee Ang third Asian to receive top Bafta honour

Lee Ang (above).
Lee Ang (above).

LONDON • Taiwanese director Lee Ang has received many accolades in his long career.

He will add another on Sunday - the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the body.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Marc Samuelson, chairman of Bafta's film committee, said of Lee: "He is an incredibly versatile, daring and exceptional film-maker who effortlessly moves between genres. His films have been truly ground-breaking both in terms of their technical expertise and for the subject matters he tackles."

Lee, 66, said: "England has been particularly good to me in my career, especially with Sense And Sensibility (1995), which was like a second film school for me. It's a tremendous honour to receive the Bafta Fellowship and be counted among such brilliant film-makers."

He will join a list of illustrious names, including directors Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, as well as actors Charlie Chaplin and Anthony Hopkins.

Lee will be the third Asian to receive the lifetime achievement award, after Japanese video-game developer Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo in 2010 and video-game designer Hideo Kojima last year.

The other recipient of the Bafta Fellowship this year is South Africa-born video-game studio director Siobhan Reddy.

Lee rose to prominence in the 1990s with Taiwanese films Pushing Hands (1991), The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), known as the Father Knows Best trilogy.

The Wedding Banquet won Best Feature Film and Best Director at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Lee directed his first English-language film, Sense And Sensibility, in 1995. It won several awards, including his first Bafta for Best Film and Best Motion Picture - Drama at the Golden Globe Awards.

He later produced and directed martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which was nominated for 10 Oscars and won four, including for Best Foreign Language Film.

He also won the Best Director Oscar twice, for gay love story Brokeback Mountain (2005) and the CGI epic, Life Of Pi (2012).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2021, with the headline 'Director Lee Ang third Asian to receive top Bafta honour'. Subscribe