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Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee directs Life of Pi, based upon Yann Martel’s popular book. An epic adventure of magical realism, Life of Pi follows the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against almost impossible odds. Pi takes audiences on an emotionally captivating journey that inspires, touches and transports them to a place of discovery they will be unable to forget.

As you watch this trailer, if you have read the novel, discuss the extent to which you think the film seems faithful to the spirit of the novel. If you haven’t read the novel, what expectations of the story does this trailer suggest?

For teachers

Designed for students of English aged 16+ and religious studies ages 14+, this resource uses film content from Life of Pi to explore ideas about storytelling and concepts of divinity and belief.


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Clip 1: Trailer


Man: I was sitting in this coffee house and this old man at the table next to me struck up a conversation with me. He said you had an amazing story.

Pi: Let’s see then, where do we begin…

Pi: I was born and raised in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It was a time filled with wonder that I’ll always remember. But when my family chose to move a zoo halfway around the world, that is when my greatest journey began.


-Get down!

Pi: [screams] Arrgh!!

Pi: The next part of the story, you will find hard to believe…








Clip 2: Pi & the flying fish


Pi: Here it’s yours!



Pi: Mine, MINE!



Clip 3: Making of Life of Pi


MARTEL: As I was writing the book, cinematic as it was in my mind, I thought this is a completely un-filmable story. You have to take those little symbols on the page and turn them into a visual reality. Other directors looked at the projects, sniffed around and expressed interest, but it didn't come together. We needed a director who could both understand the story, feel for it but also be able to overcome the enormous technical challenges.

LEE: If you’re a filmmaker, its quite daunting…

MARTEL: The challenge with Life of Pi is that it's a movie that features a tiger. They have to use a CGI tiger, because there are some parts of the story that would be un-filmable.


WESTERNHOFFER: Life of Pi is definitely one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever worked on. The bar that we set for ourselves is something that hasn’t been done in the past. We had over 15 artists just working on the fur. Someone has to comb and place all the 10 million hairs that are on his body. We had people in Los Angeles, people in India, some other artists in Vancouver and Kuala Lumpur all working on Richard Parker.

LEE: How do you make that into a movie? Sometimes it feels like encourage, sometimes you just despair.

MARTEL: Ang Lee has the know how, the determination to pull that off so he’s the perfect director. It’s a match made in heaven.

PI: [screams] What more do you want?!?