The Avatar: The Way of Water VFX team won Best Visual Effects on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at the 95th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
The achievement marks the second VFX Academy Award for the franchise following its 2010 win for Avatar.
Wētā FX’s production senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, visual effects supervisor Richard Baneham, senior visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon, and senior animation supervisor Daniel Barrett accepted the award on behalf of the production.
Baneham took to the microphone to thank director James Cameron, whose “artistic thumbprint is on every frame of this movie,” and producer Jon Landau, “who is the engine that drove us forward.”
“We accept this award on behalf of a very, very large crew,” Baneham continued. He also thanked the lab and stage crews of Los Angeles and New Zealand; Wētā FX; visual effects producer Lena Scanlan; “an army of artists” led by Joe Letteri; and the cast of the production.
Avatar: The Way of Water was nominated for four Academy Awards at the 95th annual ceremony, including Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Picture.
Avatar: The Way of Water reaches new heights and explores undiscovered depths as James Cameron returns to the world of Pandora in this emotionally packed action adventure. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water launches the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. All of this against the breathtaking backdrop of Pandora, where audiences are introduced to new Na’vi cultures and a range of exotic sea creatures that populate the majestic oceans. Nominated for numerous Academy Awards® including Best Picture, the James Cameron-directed film became the third highest-grossing box office film of all-time and set a new benchmark for visual effects. Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. Joining the illustrious adult cast are talented newcomers Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion.