Australia is toasting its newest Academy Award winner in Andrew Jackson, recognised as part of the visual effects team on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

The UK-based visual effects supervisor joined colleagues David Lee and Andrew Lockley in London while Scott Fisher accepted the Visual Effects Oscar on behalf of the group at a subdued ceremony in Los Angeles.

They beat out Australia’s other hope in the category – Love and Monsters‘ Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, and Brian Cox – as well as teams from George Clooney’s Midnight Sky, Nick Caro’s Mulan, and Thea Sharrock’s The One and Only Ivan.

It’s the first win and second nomination for Jackson, who was part of VFX team for Mad Max: Fury Road that lost out to Ex Machina in 2016.

The unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the film industry was reflected in the 93rd Academy Awards, which featured nominees gathered at several satellite events across the globe – including Sydney – to celebrate the films of the past 12 months.

As has been the case throughout the awards season, female-led films were among the big winners, with Chloe Zhao’s dislocation drama Nomadland taking out Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand.

Andrew Jackson (second from left).

Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman – produced by Margot Robbie’s production house, LuckyChap Entertainment – overcame stiff competition in the form of Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 to win Best Original Screenplay.

The majority of categories were evenly divided between the multi-nominated films, with Darius Marder’s The Sound of Metal (Best Editing, Best Sound); Disney Pixar’s Soul (Best Score, Best Animated Feature); David Fincher’s Mank (Best Cinematography, Best Production Design); George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling); Florian Zeller’s The Father (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor- Anthony Hopkins); and Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah (Best Song, Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya) each securing two wins each.

Other winners included Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari (Yuh-Jung Youn- Best Supporting Actress), Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round (Best International Feature), and James Reed and Pippa Ehrlich’s My Octopus Teacher (Best Documentary).

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