The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has announced the four nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation, the first nominees in this new category.

The nominees are:

• THE LEGO MOVIE Chris McKay, Amber Naismith, Aidan Sarsfield and Grant Freckelton
• WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D Will Reichelt, Luke Hetherington and Emmanuel Blasset
• THE WATER DIVINER David Booth, Prue Fletcher, Marc Varisco and Adam Paschke
• X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Richard Stammers, Blondel Aidoo, Cameron Waldbauer, Tim Crosbie and Adam Paschke

The new AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation was announced following significant consultation with the Visual Effects Society (VES). In the past, visual effects were recognised with the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects – an award restricted to Australian productions.

This new Award was structured to highlight Australia’s world-class visual effects industry through recognising outstanding visual effects and animation work performed in Australia, regardless of the origin of the production. The nominees were determined by a jury of visual effects industry professionals.

These nominees include one Australian production – Russell Crowe’s World War I epic THE WATER DIVINER – alongside two of the highest grossing international films of 2014 – THE LEGO MOVIE and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D was released in late 2013 and praised for its visual brilliance, featuring computer-animated creatures in live-action settings.

The animation and visual effects nominated from THE LEGO MOVIE and WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D were created by the Sydney-based animation, VFX and design studio Animal Logic. Animal Logic will also work on sequel THE LEGO MOVIE 2, and are currently developing the first feature-length film starring animation icon Betty Boop, in conjunction with Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment.

The visual effects in the nominated dust storm sequence from THE WATER DIVINER and the Quicksilver kitchen scene from X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST were both created by Adelaide’s Rising Sun Pictures (RSP). RSP was also behind the spectacular re-entry sequence from Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 space thriller, the double AACTA International Award winning GRAVITY.

The winner of the AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects or Animation will be announced at the 4th AACTA Awards Ceremony at The Star Event Centre, Sydney on Thursday January 29. Tickets to the 4th AACTA Awards Ceremony and Official After Party areon sale and can be purchased through the AACTA website.

The AACTA Awards are proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

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