Yann Martel's Life of Pi, a new motion picture by acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee, was screened for a select audience Monday night in Saskatoon.

The movie, based upon the novel by Saskatoon-based author Martel, follows a boy and a tiger and their adventures on the high seas.

The North American release of the film is set for Wednesday.

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Saskatoon-based author Yann Martel screens Life of Pi Monday night for family and friends. (Supplied to CBC)

The Saskatoon sneak preview was arranged so Martel could show the movie to friends and family.

Prior to the screening he told CBC News that fans of the award-winning novel should not compare the movie directly to the book.

He says the strongest connection between the film and the novel is the spirit of adventure.

"You should take the movie for what it is [and] what it has to offer," Martel said. "In this case: it's absolutely stupendous visuals [and] a lovely visual poetry. It makes incarnate what you may have read hazily in the book."

Martel has lived in Saskatoon since about 2004.

He moved west, from Montreal, in the spirit of adventure and said he fell in love with Saskatchewan.

Life of Pi was inspired by a backpacking tour he made of India, on a shoe-string budget.

With files from CBC's Britainy Robinson