The 90th Academy Awards takes place this Sunday in Hollywood, preceded by the traditional red carpet affair. The Oscars are at the best of times, entertaining, and should be taken with a grain of salty realism. It’s one night of glitzy showiness, over as soon as it begins (well – often 4+ hours later) and on Monday, the party’s done; a sparkling afterthought of cinematic prowess in the spotlight.

There is though, an extraordinary amount of hard work and talent that goes into many critically acclaimed productions, often unseen, blinded by the light of celebrity. The untold hours invested into visual effects, orchestral scores, set dec, costuming and hundreds of other vital creative tributaries that serve the core of an Oscar nominated pitcture.

Gastown has a lot going for it, particularly within the stream of talent that constantly flows through its cobblestone streets. The neighbourhood is home to the Vancouver Film School – one of the world’s most prestigious educational facilities, covering almost every aspect of film and TV production including game design, programming and 3D modelling.

In just the past year alone, VFS alumni participated in more than $19 billion in global box office and sales of film, television & gaming entertainment production. Vancouver Film School grads are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in the entire Animation and VFX industries.

Looking at this years nods doled out by Academy, it’s almost impossible to disagree with that statement. VFS Alumni have recently worked on big name/big budget and large grossing productions including: Black Panther, Deadpool, The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok, Spiderman Homecoming, Fantastic Beasts, Justice League and Blade Runner 2049.

And in terms of actual Oscar nominations, VFS grads have worked on quite a number films that are up for awards with some appearing in multiple categories:

Blade Runner 2049: Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Score

The Shape of Water: Best Picture

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Visual Effects

War for the Planet of the Apes: Visual Effects

Ferdinand: Visual Effects

Logan: Adapted Screenplay

Beauty and the Beast: Production Design, Costume Design

The last 14 months have been big for VFS, setting the stage for major industry recognition both home and afar. At last years Leo Awards – (the BC Oscars) – 14 VFS alumni won accolades in the categories of Sound, Animation, Acting, Design, Film and Makeup. Last year also saw a first-of-its-kind partnership with cutting-edge performance capture company Mimic Performance Capture, Inc. to build a state-of-the-art commercial motion capture studio at VFS’s Gastown Film Production campus on Water Street.

Read the full story here on how VFS and Mimic built one of the biggest motion capture studios in Canada.

2017 was also when VFS was named in Variety Magazine’s “Entertainment Education: Stellar Film Schools in 2017” article, listing the 30 most “stellar” entertainment academies in the world.

In 2018, VFS was ranked the No. 1 Best Web & Mobile School in the World by The Rookies, an annual global competition for young actors, artists, designers, and creatives.

And the school continues to grow as Vancouver Film School has just announced a new Campus in Mumbai. The new campus is scheduled to open July 2018 at the Mackichan Complex of Wilson College, Mumbai.