‘Dune’ and ‘Encanto’ sweep VFX Society Award Nominations as fans decry ‘snubs’


Dune and Encanto are sweeping the Visual Effects Society Awards nominations this year in the ceremony’s 20th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the organization.

Both films have six nominations each, with Dune leading in the feature film field and Encanto topping the animated film contenders, according to AwardsDaily. The top spot in the broadcast field goes to the Disney Plus Marvel series Loki, with four nominations.

The format and timing of the award show, which will include nominees in 25 categories, is still being determined by organizers with consideration for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The award categories recognize outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in the fields of film, animation, television, commercials, and video games.

Besides Dune, other nominees in the category of one of VES’ main awards, Best Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Film, include Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, No Time To Die, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Matrix Resurrections, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Unsurprisingly, many social media users predicted Dune will rightfully clean up in this category. The film featured a deft blending of jaw-dropping effects and real-life desert locales using innovative techniques, such as opting for a matte fabric painting later replaced with computer graphics rather than a green screen.

Another movie fan predicted that Dune would win big but lamented the perceived snub of Eternals.

In fact, there were a lot of defenders for what some Marvel fans have called a critically underrated superhero epic, Eternals, a movie which director Chloé Zhao has cited Dune as an inspiration.

Another Twitter user expressed how he would be happy with Dune, or even Eternals winning, had it been nominated, but the inclusion of Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections was baffling to them.

In fact, many fans were also debating the merits of The Matrix Resurrections’ nomination, a film that had a mixed response from critics and fans alike.

Godzilla vs. Kong was also a title some movie fans predicted would be the sleeping giant of the award.

One social media user expressed that they thought Godzilla vs. Kong deserved recognition for arguably being the catalyst for people returning to movie theaters amid historic low attendance due to the pandemic.

And speaking of the kaiju genre, among the many sweeping action and adventure films nominated, including two superhero movies, one fan on Twitter wondered why the awards seemingly snubbed DC’s The Suicide Squad, a film which director James Gunn has said has the best visual effects of any movie he’s worked on.

One social media user provided a whole smörgåsbord of films they thought deserved recognition, including Free Guy, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, A Quiet Place Part II, but definitely not Black Widow.

If you want a closer inspection yourself for the top-nominated live-action feature film for the VES Awards, check out Dune on digital download on Jan. 17 and on Blu-Ray Jan. 13.

About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'