Ang Lee is an Academy Award-winning Taiwanese film director and screenwriter. While Lee’s father pressured him to become a serious academic, Lee fell in love with drama and the arts while in college. He eventually pursued an MFA in film production at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts alongside classmate Spike Lee. After six discouraging years of unemployment, Lee caught the attention of a major Chinese studio with his screenplays and they produced his first feature film, Pushing Hands. With only his second feature, The Wedding Banquet, Lee received nominations and awards from international festivals, including a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
Lee’s first English language film, Sense and Sensibility (1995), was nominated for seven Academy Awards and in 1999 Lee breathed new life into the wuxia genre with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In 2005, Lee won Best Director and Best Picture awards worldwide for the cultural phenomenon Brokeback Mountain, including a historic win as the first director of color to win the Academy Award. He would become the second director of color to win the award for Life of Pi (2012). The emotional charge of Lee’s films and his ability to translate deep, repressed feelings into visual artistry have earned him international and historic acclaim. In 2008, MOCA honored Ang Lee at its annual Legacy Award Gala.