The winners of the 1st Digital Creation Genie Awards – organized within the framework of the Paris Images Digital Summit (Jan 21-22) – were unveiled at a prize ceremony held Thursday evening.
The award for Best VFX supervisor in the feature film category went to Geoffrey Niquet of Buf Compagnie for his work on Pascale Ferran’s “Bird People,” which screened last year in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and at Toronto.
Leading French vfx house Buf, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, specializes in ambitious vfx work, working with acclaimed international auteurs. Ferran’s fourth feature earned critical acclaim in part precisely due to its subtle use of visual effects that were essential to the pic’s narrative.
Leading French filmmakers have often been reluctant to embrace the world of digital effects, but the tide has changed recently, which is one of the reasons behind the launch of the Genie Awards.
Dominique Vidal, also of Buf, was awarded Best VFX Supervisor – TV fiction for “Cosmos – A Space Time Odyssey” – a co-production between the National Geographic Channel, Ann Druyan’s Cosmos Studios and Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions.
Best VFX Supervisor – short format – went to Laurent Creusot of Mikros Image, for the “Evian Spiderman” TV commercial.
Alexandre Gauthier of Foichat / INRIA took Best Innovation of the Year award for his open source compositing software, Natron FX. The Best Young Talent plaudit went to French helmers Fleur et Manu who specialize in commercials and music videos. A Lifetime Achievement award was granted to sfx supervisor Neil Corbould, winner of four BAFTA Awards and two Oscars for his work on “Gravity,” whose track record includes work with directors such as Richard Donner, David Lynch, Luc Besson, Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott.
Jury members for the Genie Awards included producer Alexis Perrin, and helmers Jan Kounen and Olivier Megaton.
The Digital Summit (formerly known as Paris FX) is the first of five events integrated within a three-week umbrella event – Paris Images – launched last year with the goal of reinforcing the competitive offer of French technicians, technical industries and film locations. The other four events are Paris Images Pro (Jan. 28-29); Paris Images Location Expo (Feb. 3-4), Paris Images Cinema – Dream Industry (Feb. 4-6) and Micro-Salon AFC (Feb. 6-7).