15 VFX Oscar Hopefuls

It’s at this time of the year that we’re reminded just how many vfx-driven films have come out in the past 12 months. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced 15 films have been selected as semifinalists for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 81st Academy Awards. They are as follows:

Australia

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Cloverfield

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Hancock

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The Incredible Hulk

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man

Journey to the Center of the Earth

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Quantum of Solace

The Spiderwick Chronicles

CG-loaded pics that didn’t make the list for one reason or another include 10,000 B.C., Speed Racer, Wanted, Jumper, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Babylon A.D. and Max Payne.

In early January, the members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee, who voted for the semifinalists, will narrow the list to seven. They will then be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven short-listed films during the Bake Off on Jan. 15. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 a.m. (PT) in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. ABC will carry the live broadcast in the U.S.