- An Lee
October 23, 1954 (age 66)
- Film Director, Film Producer, Screenwriter
- Jane Lin
- Sheng Lee
Ang Lee (Chinese: 李安; pinyin: Lǐ Ān; born October 23, 1954) is a Taiwanese-born American film director, screenwriter and producer. Lee has directed a diverse set of films such as Eat Drink Man Woman(1994), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Hulk (2003). He has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, first for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and most recently for Life of Pi (2012). He is the first person of Asian descent to win an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Director, and the only director to win two Best Film Awards (Golden Bear) at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Lee studied in the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School (now National Tainan First Senior High School) where his father was the principal. He was expected to pass the annual Joint College/University Entrance Examination, the only route to a university education in Taiwan. But after failing the Exam twice, to the disappointment of his father, he entered a three-year college, National Arts School (now reorganized and expanded as National Taiwan University of Arts) and graduated in 1975. His father had wanted him to become a professor, but he had become interested in drama and the arts at college. This early frustration set his career on the path of performance art.
After finishing the Republic of China's mandatory military service, Lee went to the U.S. in 1979 to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed his bachelor's degree in theater in 1980. Thereupon, he enrolled at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University, where he received his MFA in Film Production. He was a classmate of Spike Lee and worked on the crew of his thesis film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads.
During graduate school, Lee finished a 16mm short film, Shades of the Lake (1982), which won the Best Drama Award in Short Film in Taiwan. His own thesis work, a 43-minute drama, Fine Line(1984), won NYU's Wasserman Award for Outstanding Direction and was later selected for thePublic Broadcasting Service.