Those for whom the Internet world of adorable cat videos is never quite enough will be thrilled to find out there's a mecca for furry feline films.
The touring Internet Cat Video Film Festival(#catvidfest) is in Los Angeles this weekend. Catvidfest is a live event featuring 85 cat "meow-vies" lovingly selected by purr-fectionist fans such as William Braden, who is known in the cat-loving community for a series of shorts starring his ebony and white colored, existentially oriented cat, Henri, le Chat Noir. Henri is a celebrity cat whose French is spot-on (according to the blasé feline), though his ennui is evident. The videos starring Henri resemble arty black and white European films, with evocative musical accompaniment.
Braden recently told the Huffington Post that for the past 18 months he's been able to curate his cat videos full time. Now he's gone from art films to Hollywood.
"We face the same problem as the Oscars," he said of the fest. "We want to show videos that are popular but also showcase the diamonds in the rough."
Perhaps a dramatically inclined Cat Blanchett will be discovered among the celebrity felines. On hand for photo ops will be Internet sensation Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce) amid showings of seconds-long videos and short films, all cat-centric, of course.
An estimated 15,000 cat videos were submitted, Braden said, and narrowed down to the select 85 cat videos being shown in LA.
The festival began two years ago at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, drawing more than 10,000 fans. Oakland hosted the festival last year. While the videos are available online, nothing beats meeting the cool cats in person. And encouraging a cat-loving sense of community was the cat-egorical imperative at the Echoplex in L.A. where the festival kicked off Saturday afternoon, hosted by Braden.
Besides a 75-minute compilation of video clips, the fest features a cat-themed costume competition, cat product vendors and representatives from local animal shelters and Humane Society chapters
Braden and other cat-alogers are reviewing more videos to be shown in Minnesota this summer with the best in show winning the coveted "Golden Kitty Award."