President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met screenwriter, producer and director Ang Lee (李安) at the Presidential Office yesterday and presented him with a medal for his filmmaking achievements.
Accepting the Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon from the president, Lee expressed gratitude for the honor and said it was his personal honor to help boost the development of Taiwan’s film industry.
“For me, receiving the honor of the medal is like the arts and cultural industry being upgraded in Taiwan. I am accepting this honor on behalf of the whole industry,” he said.
He is the first person from the arts and culture industry to receive such a medal.
Lee received the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon in 2006 from former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who told him at the time that the grand cordon was the highest honor any individual from the arts and cultural industry could receive.
Lee yesterday reiterated his gratitude for the support and cooperation he had from the Greater Taichung Government during the shooting of Life of Pi, and said the film would not have been made without the collaboration of local film industry professionals.
“Competing for the Oscars is tiring and difficult, and I did it because I wanted to go up on the stage and express my gratitude to Taiwan,” he said.
He said he was concerned about the lack of infrastructure and efficiency in Taiwan’s film industry and said he hoped his experience would motivate young filmmakers and others to work harder and present great films to the world.