Ang Lee’s eagerly awaited 3D adaptation of the celebrated Yann Martel novel will kick off the 50th anniversary event on Sept 28.

Lee last attended the New York Film Festival with a film 12 years ago to promote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and his participation offers awards watchers their first official chance to see the adventure film.

The filmmaker becomes only the fourth alongside join Robert Altman, Pedro Almodóvar and François Truffaut to have more than one film open the festival following The Ice Storm in 1997

Life Of Pi charts the exploits of a young man lost at sea with a small menagerie for company including a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck. Fox will open the film in North America on Nov 21.

As previously announced, Robert Zemeckis’s Flight closes the festival on Oct 14.