2020 Visual Effects Society Awards: ‘The Lion King’ wins over Oscar frontrunner ‘Avengers: Endgame’

“Avengers: Endgame”  which is predicted to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, was shut out at the Visual Effects Society Awards on January 30. It lost all four of its bids, including in the the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a feature motion picture. That award went to one of its Oscar rivals, “The Lion King.”

Also in the hunt for that prize was one of the other Oscar nominees, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” as well as “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Gemini Man.”

Another of the Oscar contenders, “The Irishman” won best supporting visual effects over another the final nominee, “1917,” as well as “The Aeronauts,” “Ford v Ferrari” and “Joker.” Last year, “First Man” won this race at the VES before taking home the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

On the TV side, a trio of shows claimed a pair of prizes each: “Game of Throne,“ “The Mandalorian” and “Stranger Things.”

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In the 17-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. The last of these was in 2017  when “The Jungle Book” won both.

In 2018, the groups diverged with the VES rewarding “‘War for the Planet of the Apes” while the academy went with “Blade Runner 2049.” They had also 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.

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. During the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, the Visionary Award was presented to director Roland Emmerich while VFX supervisor Sheena Duggal was feted with the Award for Creative Excellence.

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on Feb. 9.

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