August 31, 2012

Internet Cat Video Film Festival


if anyone remembers my summer plans list from back in June, August concluded with an Internet Cat Video Film Festival. believe it or not, this was put on by the Walker Art Center, our acclaimed modern art museum. every summer they host a slew of fun interactive stuff on their grounds "to explore what happens when people get together to share and exchange skills and interests, to create something new, or delve into the unknown." this particular event was dreamed up as a social experiment- whether or not viewing cat videos, which is normally an indoor, solitary activity, would translate into an outdoor festival atmosphere with a multitude of people participating together. judging by the amount of time Matt and i watch cute animal videos together, i had a feeling that cat video lovers would feel no shame in gathering on a grassy hillside to watch Keyboard Cat for the eleventy-billionth time.

i was right.


by the time i pulled up on my bike, the hillside was wall to wall people and festival organizers were concluding their introduction. as i scrambled to lock up my bike across the street, people were scurrying past, either saying, "oh my god, look at all the people" or "HURRY UP IT'S STARTING." i was able to find a spot on the hill to squeeze into, right as the show was starting. the cute couple next to me shared their program- this was like a bona fide festival, y'all. videos were broken up into CATegories: Comedy, Drama, Foreign, Animated, Documentary, Musical, Art House, Lifetime Achievement, and People's Choice. all in all, they showed around 70 videos, whittled down from the TEN THOUSAND that were submitted. was there every any doubt that people love their cat videos??


Matt had a band thing so i was there by myself, but it didn't matter. i was surrounded by an estimated 6,000-10,000 fellow cat video enthusiasts and we were all having a blast. when certain videos came up on the screen, people would gasp or say almost involuntarily, "oh i love this one!" crowd pleasers got lots of claps and cheers. the festival ended with the People's Choice results- the top 7 videos voted on earlier in the month. the winner was Henri 2, Paw de Deux, a hilarious black & white short about a French cat with a crippling case of ennui. it was made by a guy in Seattle named Will Braden, and i don't know how he got here, but he was there to accept the Golden Kitty Award in person (below). when asked if he would like to say anything, he took the mic and said, "i'm purring so loudly right now!"


if you want to read more, here's the official page from the Walker's website. and here's the full list of videos shown last night, with a link to watch them all on the Walker's youtube page. (the People's Choice nominations are here) all the photos are by Craig Lassig and found here- click the link to see more pics, including folks who brought their cats last night, dressed up as cats, or wore their cat-themed attire. and because i can't help myself, 2 of my favorite local tweets about the event:


thank you Walker Art Center. i can't wait til next year...


UPDATE- so apparently, the New York Times sent a reporter to the festival. and there were actual cat celebrities in attendance, including the incomparable Lil Bub. looks like i need to plan better for 2013...

UPDATE #2- a nice little video about the night...

2 comments:

totalbalancefitness said...

Wow, sounds like fun, I wish I had gone!!

Megan Troxell said...

I am not much of a cat video watcher, but this sounds hilarious and would totally be something fun to go to surrounded by that many people!