The Advanced Imaging Society Announces Winners of 14th Annual Lumiere Awards

Oppenheimer, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Godzilla Minus One and 32 Sounds Take Top Honors in Film while The Last of Us and Star Wars: Visions Vol. 2 win for Episodic

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The Creator, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning and The Last of Us among Best Technical Achievement winners, with additional wins for Barbie and The Color Purple

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The Holdovers Director Alexander Payne, Academy Award® nominee Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction, Darren Aronofsky & Sphere Entertainment for Postcard from Earth, and The Walt Disney Studios Received Special Honors

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Awards handed out statuettes for distinguished creative and technical achievement during its 14th annual awards luncheon today at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Google Cloud, Barco Cinema, Microsoft and Ryff sponsored the luncheon.

The Lumiere Awards celebrated “Masters and Magic” this year, recognizing distinguished directors and professionals in film, television, and emerging media, voted for by members of the Hollywood creative and technology community. USC film historian J.D. Connor emphasized cinema’s unique blend of advanced technology and emotional intimacy, highlighting how innovation has long been a crucial element of cinematic storytelling. He stressed the importance of technological advancements in expanding the possibilities of storytelling, underscoring their significance to all who love to be transported by stories in film and television.

“Our awards have humorously been called the Oscars for geeks,” remarked Jim Chabin, AIS President. “​​In 2023, amidst the industry’s chaos, we witnessed the culmination of years of dedication and sudden bursts of creativity. That work is so important to all of us who love film and television. The Lumiere winners of this year have notably expanded the boundaries of technology in filmmaking, enriching storytelling in remarkable ways.”

The Society awarded the Best Live Action Feature Film to Universal Studios’ multi-nominated Oppenheimer with Best Actor nominee Cillian Murphy surprising the room and accepting the award on behalf of Christopher Nolan. Voters praised Oppenheimer for its sheer ambition, monumental visual achievement and its commitment to uncompromising imaging quality.

The Lumiere for Best Animated Feature Film went to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Lead voice actress Hailee Steinfeld presented the award to Academy Award®-winning writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Voters praised the multiple styles of animation saying visually it was the closest thing to animating a comic book that has ever been achieved.

Best International Feature Film was presented to Academy Award®-nominee Takashi Yamazaki, Director, Writer and Visual Effects Supervisor of Godzilla Minus One. Voters praised the film for being a superb new addition to the Godzilla legacy.

The Lumiere for Best Documentary went to 32 Sounds and was accepted by Academy Award®-winning sound editor Mark Mangini. This immersive documentary explores sound and its power to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. From foley to experimental music to the natural world, the film is a celebration of sound in cinema.

Among the episodic winners was The Last of Us, which received the Award for Best Episodic – Live Action, accepted by Janet Muswell Hamilton, SVP Visual Effects, HBO @ Max; and for Best Audio – accepted by sound editor Michael Benavente. Star Wars: Visions, Vol. 2 won for Best Episodic – Animation, accepted by the series’ Executive Producers James Waugh, Jacqui Lopez and Josh Rimes.

Barbie received the award for Best Use of HDR in a Feature Film, which was accepted by Colorist Alan Gordon. The film was also recognized for Best Original Song for “I’m Just Ken.” HBO’s The Last of Us was recognized for Best Use of HDR – Episodic, and the award was received by Erik Hansen, Vice President of Media and Production Services, Production Operations HBO & Max.

The Lumiere for Best Theatrical Scene or Sequence was awarded to Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning for the heart-stopping train sequence. Voters commented that this was an impressive feat – a very elaborate scene to direct and perform, which also involved masterful, seamless VFX. The editing was terrific and definitely the highlight of the film. Director Christopher McQuarrie, a past Lumiere winner and Harold Lloyd recipient, wrote a note from set in the UK and expressed his heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the AIS as an organization committed to celebrating the passion and hard work behind the cinematic experience.

The Award for Best Audio – Theatrical went to The Creator, which sound editor and Oscar nominee Erik Aadahl happily accepted. Director Gareth Edwards was also in attendance to celebrate his win.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 received the award for Best 2D to 3D Conversion which was accepted by the film’s editor Fred Raskin. Voters commented that Vol. 3 was a fitting finale to one of the best narratives in the Marvel universe! VFX Supervisor and nominee Guy Williams from Wētā FX was also in attendance.

The Innovation in Production Technology Award was presented to Ryff for their groundbreaking innovations, notably their development of advanced software that addresses critical challenges faced by productions worldwide. Their innovations enable effortless integration or removal of product placements during post-production. Renowned clients such as ESPN, Dell, Volvo, and Amazon Prime utilize Ryff’s technology to facilitate seamless production experiences for all creatives involved.

The society’s annual Sir Charles Wheatstone Award is presented to an organization for advancing the arts and sciences of storytelling. These award recipients are the magicians who work behind the scenes to make stories truly come alive on screen and beyond.

This year AIS presented the award to The Walt Disney Studios’ Research and Innovation teams DisneyResearch|Studios and StudioLAB for advancing cinematic storytelling. Jamie Voris, The Walt Disney Studios’ EVP/Chief Technology Officer, accepted the award on behalf of the teams. “I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of our DisneyResearch|Studios and StudioLAB teams. I’m so proud of the teams’ outstanding achievements over the years to continuously push the boundaries of what’s possible and to shape the future of cinematic storytelling,” said Voris.

A highlight of the awards ceremony was a vision of Walt Disney himself in the event space, sharing an inspiring message about innovation. DisneyResearch|Studios, StudioLAB, and Industrial Light & Magic utilized cutting-edge technology to digitally bring Walt to life and create this unique greeting called MagicStage, which was originally developed for Disney100: The Exhibition. The teams tapped the vast resources of the Walt Disney Archives to create this authentic recreation of Walt Disney. As he famously said, “We’re always exploring and experimenting.”

The Lumiere Awards have been presented to the industry’s most respected creative and technical leaders over the last decade. In addition to awards for motion pictures, episodic, and new media content, the society also bestowed awards for best musical motion picture, best musical scene or performance, best immersive audio, and more.

Three special honors were handed out, providing the highlights of the day:

Academy Award®-nominated actor Jeffrey Wright received the inaugural Distinguished Artist Award for his exceptional performance in American Fiction. The accolade was presented to him by his co-star, John Ortiz. This recognition aims to celebrate the often overlooked collaboration between lead actors and technology, as well as their unwavering commitment to working seamlessly with their crews. The AIS chose to honor a performer whose impactful on-screen work has not only inspired but also influenced the behind-the-scenes efforts of the entire production team.

The EARTHDAY.ORG “Voices For The Earth Award,” which celebrates innovation and inspiration in environmental storytelling, was given to Academy Award®-nominated director Darren Aronofsky and his producing partners at Sphere Entertainment for their film Postcard from Earth, a beautiful tribute to the earth’s beauty and complexity, but also along with the Sphere, it is a tribute to the technological possibilities of filmmaking itself. Followed by a video from Aronofsky, who was not able to attend, the team from Sphere Entertainment responsible for creating the experience led by Producer Ralph Winter and Andrew Shulkind (SVP Head of Capture) accepted the award from Tom Cosgrove, Chief Creative Officer of EARTHDAY.ORG and past chairman of AIS.

And finally, the esteemed Harold Lloyd Award was presented to Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne by Suzanne Lloyd, Chairman of Harold Lloyd Entertainment, along with a surprise appearance by the film’s lead (and Academy Award® nominee) Paul Giamatti. Producer and nominee Mark Johnson was also on hand for the celebration. Payne, who hails from Nebraska like Harold Lloyd, similarly has a gift for creating ambitious, driven characters who not only make us laugh, but also make us care. His film The Holdovers beautifully captures the essence of genuine human experiences, portraying characters navigating life with honesty and integrity. Through its intimate and heartfelt depictions, the film pays homage to boyhood, the teaching profession, and to an iconic era in American history.

The complete list of winners:

Best Feature Film – Live Action: Oppenheimer

Best Feature Film – Animated: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Feature Film – International: Godzilla Minus One

Best Documentary: 32 Sounds

Best Motion Picture – Musical: Color Purple

Best Audio – Theatrical: The Creator

Best Audio – Episodic: The Last of Us

Best Original Song: “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie

Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Feature Film: Barbie

Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Episodic: The Last of Us

Best 2D to 3D Conversion: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Best Musical Scene or Sequence: “I’m Here” from Color Purple

Best Theatrical Scene or Sequence: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning

Best Episodic – Animated: Star Wars: Visions Volume 2

Best Episodic – Live Action: The Last of Us

Best Achievement in 8K Production: Satayama Niigata: Living with Snow; NHK/NHK Enterprises Inc.

Innovation in Production Technology Award: Ryff

Heritage Award for Media Preservation: Iron Mountain Media and Archive Services

Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for Creative Excellence in Visual Effects: Walt Disney Studios

Voices For The Earth Award: Darren Aronofsky and Sphere Entertainment, Postcard from Earth

Distinguished Artist Award: Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

Harold Lloyd Award: Alexander Payne, The Holdovers


A key set of photos shot by Getty Images is available: click HERE. In addition, select video clips will be uploaded later following the event.


The Advanced Imaging Society was formed more than a decade ago by senior Hollywood executives to identify game-changing filmmaking technologies and foster their deployment to accelerate the success of next-generation consumer experiences. Founders included Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Sony, Paramount, IMAX, Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Dolby, Technicolor and Deluxe. The organization is charged with annually honoring creative and technical professionals for groundbreaking filmmaking and entertainment technology. Through the years, AIS honorees have included James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lee, James Mangold, Jon Favreau, Christopher McQuarrie, Victoria Alonso and others. The organization now includes Silicon Valley and tech leaders including Google, NVIDIA, HP, Dell, Epic Games and others. In addition to its annual awards, the Society produces The Insiders Show Podcast, The Magic Series short-form videos and has active chapters in China, India and Japan.


The Lumiere™ Awards recognize outstanding international achievement in the creation of immersive storytelling using advanced visual technologies like Music and immersive audio categories: Stereo 3D, 360 Video, High Frame Rate, Artificial Intelligence, Real-Time Rendering, Augmented Reality, High Dynamic Range, Virtual Reality, and more.

The Society honors content and experiences produced for film, television, advertising, gaming, mobile, online and much more. Past Lumiere winners include some of Hollywood’s biggest creative leaders, such as Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Victoria Alonso, Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Christopher McQuarrie.


For 100 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today it brings quality movies, episodic storytelling, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. The Walt Disney Studios encompasses a collection of respected film studios, including Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and 20th Century Studios. It is also home to Disney Theatrical Group, producer of world-class stage shows, as well as Disney Music Group.


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