2018 Visual Effects Society Awards: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ wins on way to Oscars

“War for the Planets of the Apes”, which is predicted to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, defeated its four rivals — “Blade Runner 2049,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,”  “Kong: Skull Island” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — at the VES Awards on Feb. 13. All five were in the running for the Visual Effects Society equivalent of the Best Picture race: Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture.

“War of the Planet of the Apes” and “Blade Runner 2049” each reaped a leading seven bids at the 16th annual edition of these awards. The final film in the “Planet of the Apes” reboot won the most awards here (4), including that top prize while the long-awaited “Blade Runner” sequel took two.

“War of the Planet of the Apes” also prevailed for Best Character in a Photoreal Feature, Compositing and Effects Simulation.

In the 15-year history of the VES Awards, the winner of Best Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture has gone on to repeat at the Oscars 10 times, including last year when “The Jungle Book” won both. However, the two groups have disagreed when it came to the first two films in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise. In 2011, the VES embraced “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” but the Oscar went to “Hugo.” Likewise, in 2014 “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” won over the society but it was “Interstellar” that took home the Academy Award.

As predicted, “Dunkirk” claimed the supporting visual effects award over “Darkest Hour,” “Downsizing,” “Mother!” and “Only the Brave.”

And “Coco” prevailed in the animated feature race over “Captain Underpants,” “Cars 3,” “Coco,” “Despicable Me 3,” “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “The LEGO Ninjago Movie.” “Coco” swept the animation categories.

On the TV side, perennial VES favorite “Game of Thrones” won five awards while “Black Sails” claimed one.

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Nominees and winners in 24 categories were selected by VES members via events hosted by 10 sections, including Australia, Bay Area, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

The VES Awards were held on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jon Favreau while the Georges Méliès Award was presented to four-time Oscar champ Joe Letteri.

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