Hey, you cool cats, kittens, and kittehs out there. What’s more fun than watching cat videos? Watching them on the big screen, of course. Welcome to Sundance for cat videos.
The Internet Cat Video Film Festival starts Aug. 30th at the Walker Art Center′s Open Field in Minneapolis. Festival organizers are accepting nominations for the best cat videos online through July 30th.
Katie Czarniecki Hill, 28, a program associate for Open Field who came up with the idea, thinks it is about time the cat video community joined forces IRL (“In Real Life” in meme-speak).
“The online community around cat videos is huge and prolific, and everyone likes it — even if you don’t admit it,” she says. “It’s a really interesting social experiment to see how something that’s usually done alone and on a small screen will now be done with a large group of people and on a big screen.”
So far the museum has received more than 500 nominations and counting. There will be awards for the videos that received the most nominations, and participants will be able to vote for their favorites during the event itself.
This festival is the second time the museum has ventured into the world of cute animal videos. Last year, it put on a Dog Opera, where canine owners and their pets — decked out in opera garb — enjoyed a 10-minute silent film called “Tragedy of the Sea Nymph” about secret lovers stranded at sea. Five opera singers and a string quartet accompanied the flick.
But don’t assume that just because cat videos now have their own film festival that they should be considered art. Hill, who has a masters in art history, is more interested in them as a form of communication.
“When you send your friend a silly video when she’s having a bad day, that’s a lovely gesture,” she says. “There are definitely some [cat videos] that are made by filmmakers who put a lot of effort and money and energy into them…but there are also just people who have a phone and take a video of their cat doing something silly.”
And in case you were wondering, the festival is BYOC — “Bring Your Own Cat.”
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