Theodore Ushev’s NFB produced Blind Vaysha is a more than welcome “UFO” as a nominee in the Best Animated Short Film category of the 89th Academy Awards whose winner will be announced this Sunday February 26th. From a story by fellow countryman, poet Georgi Gospodinov, the Montreal-based director takes us to the strange world of a girl who’s vision is split in two. Vaysha’s left eye is set to the past, the right eye seeing the future, the present becoming her blind spot. Not only does it set a highly different darker poetic tone in comparison to this year’s other nominees, but the same can be said of the techniques chosen by Ushev. He used a Cintiq tablet to perform with the Linocut, an old-school technique of animation he has always been fond of. 12 000 drawings later, he runs for the Oscar.

Competing against Blind Vaysha, Patrick Osborne’s Pearl offers an interesting and simple tale of a girl growing up around the family Hatchback while covering miles through out the country. The film is made to be seen with headsets that make it an immersive 3-D experience.

The rest of the bunch of Oscar nominees is business as usual by today’s digital standards. We get our usual Pixar cutie, Piper, in which a little birdie discovers life, Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj’s Borrowed Time brings us back to the Far West with an emotional twist and the other Canadian offering, Bert Valley and Cara Speller’s Pear, Cider and Cigarettes (the longest of the selection at 34 minutes), tells of a drug addict story that obviously doesn’t aim at children…

* for Montrealers (rest of the world check your local listings) the Oscars Short Film program is still running at Cinema du Parc until Sunday February 26th – winner of course will be announce on the same the evening.