The film itself was nominated for a special Jury Award.
Aronofsky followed his debut with Requiem for a Dream, a film based on Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel of the same name.
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In 1987, he entered Harvard University, where he majored in social anthropology and studied filmmaking; he graduated in 1991.
Producing the film with an initial budget of $60,000, Aronofsky premiered Pi at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where he won the Best Director award.
He was paid $50,000, and worked for three years with nearly the same production team as his previous film.
Production was postponed to wait for a pregnant Blanchett to give birth to her child in December 2001.
He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist.