Greek-American Oscar nominee Nikos Kalaitzidis could win big at the 2022 awards show in the visual effects category later this month.
The 94th annual Oscars will be held on March 27, and Kalaitzidis is up for an award in the visual effects category for his work on the film “Free Guy.”
Kalaitzidis, along with his colleagues Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, and Dan Sudick, have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their work on the 2021 film, starring Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The movie, about a man who realizes he is actually a non-playable character in a large online video game, features stunning visual effects that truly make the viewer feel like they’re looking at the world as though it were part of a video game.
The extensive visual effects took Kalaitzidis and his collaborators nearly two years to complete, but the hard work paid off — the film was also nominated for a BAFTA award for its visual effects.
Oscar nominee Nikos Kalaitzidis has 20 years of experience in visual effects
Kalaitzidis, 53, has roots from Pontus and Kalamata, but was born in New York. As a child, his parents sent him to his grandparents’ house in Greece to learn the language.
Speaking to Greek newspaper IEfimerida, Kalaitzidis said that even though he lives in the US, he “dreams of Greece everyday.” He visits the country frequently because his wife’s family has a house on the island of Evia.
He even stated that if he won the Oscar, he’d bring it with him on a trip to Greece.
His love of photography and films, partially sparked by visits to outdoor cinemas in Greece over the Summers, led the creative Greek-American to pursue visual effects as a career.
Throughout his 20-year career, Kalaitzidis has worked on nearly 40 films, including “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “Tron: Legacy.”
He even worked with James Cameron on the visual effects for Cameron’s film “Titanic.”
Since 2014, Kalaitzidis has worked for as the Visual Effects Supervisor for feature films at the company Digital Domain, which was founded by Cameron, in California.
Kalaitzidis and his colleagues who worked on “Free Guy” will be up against the people who created visual effects for the films “Dune,” “No Time to Die,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The Oscars will be hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes, and the ceremony will be held in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
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