Ang Lee Touts Potential of Digital Cinema to "Upgrade" Storytelling

The ‘Billy Lynn’ director received the International Honor for Excellence during the IBC Awards ceremony on Sunday.
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Ang Lee

Ang Lee said he believes “new technology will upgrade filmmaking in terms of storytelling” as he accepted the International Broadcasting Convention’s International Honor for Excellence, its highest accolade, on Sunday night at the IBC Awards in Amsterdam.

The director has pushed the boundaries of his art with films such as Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and his upcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is the first motion picture to be made in 4K, 3D at 120 frames per second, per eye.

"With this movie I'm getting a new world," said Lee. “The use of high frame rate and high dynamic range will provide, I hope, a unique opportunity to feel the realities of war and peace through the protagonist’s eyes."

The IBC Innovation Awards’ Judges' Prize was given to NASA, which was accepted by Carlos Fontanot, imagery manager for the International Space Station, and Kelly O. Humphries, news chief at Johnson Space Center and the voice of Mission Control for more than 50 shuttle missions.

The audience was treated to images from space and an acceptance speech shot on the International Space Station. “Living and working here 250 miles above our beautiful planet, we’re lucky enough to enjoy stunning views of the world below,” said astronaut Kate Rubins. “From the beginning, NASA has worked to share the wonders of exploration and scientific research for film and television.”

IBC Innovation Awards were presented in the categories of content creation, management and delivery. The prize in content creation went to the European Broadcasting Union and Flemish broadcaster VRT for the LiveIP Studio. Endemol Shine Germany took a trophy for its management on Wild Island, which split the post between the location — two islands off the coast of Central America — and the company’s base in Cologne, Germany. The trophy for content delivery was awarded to BT Sport, which launched an Ultra HD channel last year.

During the ceremony, a special award was presented to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in recognition of its centennial.

Disclosure: The Hollywood Reporter’s Carolyn Giardina was a member of the IBC Innovation Awards jury.