Director Ang Lee has spoken of his sadness after executives at the Oscar-winning special effects company behind his latest film Life Of Pi filed for bankruptcy.

Bosses at Rhythm & Hues are facing a financial crisis and filed for bankruptcy protection last week (begs11Feb13) - just days after picking up a BAFTA for their work on Lee's adventure drama.

The company reportedly fell on hard times after several projects were delayed or cancelled, but Lee is hopeful the team can reach a deal to stop the firm from folding.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "(It's) very sad. I hope they can be saved somehow. My heart goes out to them... The tiger, the water (in Life of Pi) - they did wonderful work. It's very hard for them (visual effects companies) to make money. The research and development is so expensive; that is a big burden for every house. They all have good times and hard times, and in the tough times, some may not survive."

The Rhythm & Hues effects team is also behind two other Oscar contenders, Django Unchained and Snow White and the Huntsman, and has previously worked on The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class, The Golden Compass, and Happy Feet.