Catch up on your 2017 Oscar noms in two easy screenings!

Vancouver animator Robert Valley’s Pear Cider and Cigarettes screens as part of VIFF’s Oscar Shorts programme.

Feeling behind in your 2016 movie-viewing? Does the list of nominees for this year’s Best Picture read like a list of films you saw mentioned on posters on the way to Paul Blart Mall Cop 3?

Worry not; the Vancouver International Film Centre has an easy way to catch up on 2017’s nominees. In fact, you can see 10 nominated films in just two screenings.

Of course, there’s a catch – the films are nominated in the two short film categories, live action and animation. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have bragging rights come Oscars night, when you’re sitting around with your “Arrival was so much better than La La Land”-type friends and you casually drop, “Oh yeah, but have you seen Timo von Gunten’s La Femme et la TGV? It’s truly sublime.”

The screenings run Feb. 10 to March 4 for the Live Action programme, and Feb. 10 to Feb. 27 for Animation. For locals, the biggest news is in the latter category – it includes Pear Cider and Cigarettes, a film by Vancouverite Robert Valley.

From the description for the short: “Drink and smoke…that’s what Techno Stypes really liked to do. And fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident. Yeah, he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant, and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This was not going to be easy.”

And leave it to the Vancouverite’s film to come with a warning: “It contains images of violence, sex, language, and drug use.”

According to, “Valley first wrote about his childhood friend, Techno, in two self-published graphic novels. He was a gifted athlete but, even at a young age, drawn to danger like a moth to the flame. It’s a dark, tragic, passionate account of the American Dream gone bad and the idealism of loyalty and hero worship.” Previous to the short, Valley worked on Aeon Flux, Wonder Woman shorts, and Gorillaz music videos.

Jane Birkin stars in the Swiss short La Femme et la TGV, one of five nominees in the live-action shorts category in the 2017 Academy Awards.

For a complete list of the shorts, animated and otherwise, along with screening times and ticket info, visit

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