The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has announced the seven films shortlisted for the visual effects Oscar.

They are: Australia, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Iron Man, Journey To The Center Of The Earth and The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor.

On January 15 all members of the Academy's visual effects branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three for final consideration.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 22 and the 81st Academy Awards are set to take place on February 22.