An Award-Nominated Short Animation Made with Photoshop
Robert Valley’s striking and poignant—and now Academy Award®–nominated—animated short Pear Cider and Cigarettes began as a graphic novel. But before that, it was a true story: the tale, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measures, of Valley’s relationship with his charismatic but self-destructive friend Techno, and Valley’s attempt to save Techno from his own bad instincts.
Valley, who grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and has recently returned to live there after living in San Francisco and working as a freelance animator around the world, describes Pear Cider and Cigarettes as a blend of documentary and animation. The piece’s point of view is always Valley’s, and viewers meet Techno through his eyes when the two are seven or eight years old. “The film takes place over the course of about 25 years of our history together,” says Valley. “Not to say that we were together all that time, because there were long periods when we didn’t see each other. It’s about my life intersecting with his occasionally…and then everything sort of culminates in us spending a prolonged period of time together in China, where his drinking habits had led him to a bad situation and he was in desperate need of a liver transplant.”