Cat Video Festival Draws Over 10,000 Fans

Cat Video Festival Draws Over 10,000 Fans

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People love watching funny cat videos, even when they have to gather in person.

OK, guys. I get it. I really do. The internet likes cat videos. At first, I hoped it was kind of a passing fad: something that we dog-lovers could roll our eyes at and wait out. If the first official Cat Video Festival is any indication, though, the internet's collective feline fascination isn't going anywhere. On August 30, 2012, over 10,000 cat ladies and gentlemen gathered at the Walker Art Museum to sample some of the finest kitty videos available online in ten different categories.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and its gargantuan lawn are no strangers to outdoor events, although it has probably never hosted anything quite like the Cat Video Festival before. In front of a crowd of thousands, the center screened dozens of carefully culled videos from categories including Comedy, Foreign, Animated, Musical, and Art House, and handed out awards ranging from People's Choice to Lifetime Achievement (leaving aside how a first-ever event could award such a thing). Some of the entries that made the final cut included "Slow Motion Kitten," "Dubstep Cat," and, fittingly, "The Internet is Made of Cats." Ultimately, cat enthusiast William Brandon took home the coveted Golden Kitty award for his existential French drama, "Henri 2, Paw de Deux."

More than anything else, the Cat Video Festival is a demonstration of the power and ubiquity of internet culture. An exhibition that, by all rights, should not work, ended up drawing a bigger crowd to an art museum in one night than it would likely see in a week. The event's success almost guarantees a second Cat Video Festival, so all of you cat people out there can keep your eyes peeled and claws sharpened for that one. I'm going to sit on a stoop with a dog while we make funny faces at each other. Maybe someone will turn it into a video.

Source: Walker Art Center

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that looks like so much fun!

Just because cats and dogs can't get along, doesn't mean WE can't love both Honorof

Evil Smurf:
that looks like so much fun!

No kitten man, so fuzzy!

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Excellent... =3

DVS BSTrD:
No kitten man, so fuzzy!

I need to get there. I love cats.

Evil Smurf:

DVS BSTrD:
No kitten man, so fuzzy!

I need to get there. I love cats.

Kittens are fuzzy!

To be honest, I'd go...looks like fun...

Somewhere, I imagine Susan jumping in glee.

OT: Not at all surprised, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner :P

Nyaahahaha! Our evil plan is working!

Uhhh... I mean...

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Cat video... festival?


I shouldn't really be surprised, but still.

Cat festival? What can I say?

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Missed it by that much.

Of course the internet likes cats. It's made of them!

This is the future of cinema and I like it :3

I want a statement from Susan Arendt.

That said, OMG KITTIES YAY BEST FILM FESTIVAL EVER

well, were done, if cats can do this, were doomed. Doomed I say!

saintdane05:
Of course the internet likes cats. It's made of them!

I love this video now!

Orks da best:
well, were done, if cats can do this, were doomed. Doomed I say!

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Basement Cat is coming!

Posers. I loved cats before it was cool.

The reason the internet loves cats is because cats are 100% bat-shit insane. Dogs are only half as crazy, that's why dog videos aren't as popular.

Maxtro:
Posers. I loved cats before it was cool.

That's Blasphemy! Loving cats was ALWAYS cool!

lacktheknack:
I want a statement from Susan Arendt.

That said, OMG KITTIES YAY BEST FILM FESTIVAL EVER

Official statement: AWWWWWW, YEAH!

In all seriousness, this makes me happy for a variety of reasons. Most superficially, I personally enjoy funny cat videos and I'm glad to see them being recognized in some way. (It was also mildly embarrassing how many of the nominees I recognized just from a still frame.) But in a more wide-reaching sense, I'm really encouraged to see people gathering in such large numbers to celebrate something simply because it makes us happy. There is so much negativity, cynicism, and hate in the world, it seems, especially in internet culture, and so to see thousands of people coming together for something positive is really encouraging. Cute cat videos are pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things - they won't unite nations, solve the energy crisis, or cure disease. But they can make us happy, if only for a few moments.

I feel much the same way about videogames. Life is hard. Life does its best to kick you in the shins on a daily basis, and something that lets you escape that constant onslaught - if only briefly - has value. To be able to share that freedom, that escape, is one of my greatest joys. So, yes, I post cute cat (and dog!) pictures on Twitter and I preach the gospel of gaming, because I believe that both have the ability to make life better.

Most appropriate picture thus far:
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