Visual Effects Society New York Hosts 6th Annual Awards Celebration

Visual Effects Society New York Hosts 6th Annual Awards Celebration

Academy Award Winner and Director of NYU’s Future Reality Lab Ken Perlin

to Receive Empire Award

Charlex Co-Founder and Creative Director Alex Weil to Receive Posthumous Honors

New York City (February 13, 2020) – Today, the New York Section of the Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional global honorary society, announced its sixth annual regional awards celebration to recognize exceptional artistry in the fields of visual effects and filmed entertainment.  Billed as the VES Awards “after-after party,” the evening celebrates the finest achievements in visual effects artistry – from New York’s VFX community to the VES Award winners around the globe. The VES Empire Awards are bestowed upon New York-based entertainment industry professionals who have made enormous contributions to the field of visual arts and filmed entertainment, and whose work embodies the spirit of New York.

Ken Perlin, Academy Award Winner and Director of NYU’s Future Reality Lab will receive the 2020 VES New York Empire Award in recognition of his achievements in visual effects.  Alex Weil, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Charlex, Inc., who passed away in April 2019, will be honored posthumously.  The VES New York celebration takes place the evening of Friday, February 28th at The Green Building in Brooklyn. Highlights from the 18th Annual VES Awards, held last month in Los Angeles, will also be shown.

Ken Perlin is a pioneer in the field of graphics research, animation, and visual storytelling. A professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University, Perlin directs the Future Reality Lab, and is a participating faculty member at NYU MAGNET. His research interests include future reality, graphics and animation, user interfaces and education; and he serves as chief scientist at Parallux, Tactonic Technologies and Autotoon.

Perlin’s penchant for bridging the gap of technology and storytelling is the foundation of his work with narrative driven virtual and augmented reality. His research and passion for producing realistic computer graphics was fundamental to the groundbreaking visual effects for TRON, and his noise algorithm has been a staple in motion pictures since the earliest CG films such as ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2JURASSIC PARKTOY STORY. Perlin has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his noise and turbulence procedural texturing techniques, the 2008 ACM/SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the TrapCode award for achievement in computer graphics research, the NYC Mayor’s award for excellence in Science and Technology and the Sokol award for outstanding Science faculty at NYU, and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

“It is such a great honor to receive this award,” said Ken Perlin. “Those of us working in special effects are fortunate to be able to live and work in New York City, the cultural capital of the world. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful professional community.”

“Ken Perlin has broadened the horizon of our artistic and technical potential, while simultaneously leading us into the next frontier of creativity,” said John Kalaigian, VES New York Section Co-Chair. “Ken’s vast impact on production and the realm of storytelling has already established him as a legendary contributor to our field.  For all these reasons, we are proud to honor Ken with this year’s Empire Award. “

Visual Effects Society New York is also proud to honor the legacy of a New York legend and visionary, Alex Weil. His contributions dramatically influenced and elevated the status of the visual effects industry in New York City. Notorious for pushing the limits of both analog and digital mediums, Alex crafted compelling and visually stunning stories. As Co-Founder and Creative Director of New York-based digital design and production studio Charlex, Inc., Alex’s storied legacy is ingrained in his diverse body of work.  His portfolio includes the award winning short animated film ONE RAT SHORT, show opener for ABC EVENING NEWS, Emmy Award-winning titles sequences for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: ON ASSIGNMENT, MTV Award-winning music video You Might Think for The Cars, and a plethora of awards for his advertising portfolio.

“Alex Weil embodied the essence of a hard working and ‘results driven’ New Yorker, surpassing the limits of what’s possible and unleashing the power of immense creativity,” said David Eschrich, VES New York Section Co-Chair. “He was a rare talent and his passion for the work was infectious.  It is our great honor to recognize Alex’s life and powerful body of work.”

Previous recipients of the New York VES Empire Award are award-winning titles designer and visual effects supervisor Randy Balsmeyer, director and co-founder of Blue Sky Studios Chris Wedge, visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, acclaimed visual effects supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster and digital pioneer Bob Greenberg.

Platinum sponsors include Alkemy X, Blue Sky Studios, Crafty Apes, The Molecule, PowerHouse VFX and Zoic.  Gold sponsors are Foundry and FuseFX, and Silver sponsors are Cadence Effects, Chicken Bone VFX and Phosphene.  Media partners are SHOOTSHOOT Publicity Wire and Variety. For more information and tickets, visit

About the Visual Effects Society

VES New York is the New York Section of the Visual Effects Society, a professional global honorary society dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. It is the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the extended global community of visual effects practitioners, including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.  VES’ more than 4,000 members in over 40 countries worldwide contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, animation, special venue, games and new media.

To learn more about the VES, visit and follow us on Twitter at @VFXSociety.

Read our award-winning magazine, VFX Voice at

Follow the VES New York Section on Facebook at @VESNewYork or on Twitter @VES_NYC

**NOTE: all press must request and receive approved credentials to cover the New York VES Awards Celebration