By Peter Knegt | Indiewire December 12, 2008 at 8:35AM
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films were selected as semifinalists for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 81st Academy Awards: "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," and "The Spiderwick Chronicles." In early January, the members of the Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee, who voted the semifinalists, will narrow the list to seven. On Thursday, January 15, all members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. 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, January 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.