Sundance's Catdance: A Purrfect Evening Affair

A virtual reality experience and a giant sequined litter scoop were at the fourth annual event held on Main Street in Park City Saturday night.
 Araya Diaz, Getty Images

The Sundance Film Festival is known for a lot of things: movies, celebrities, snow and now, cats.

This year marks the fourth annual Catdance Film Festival, which is like Sundance but with — you guessed it — cats.

New Girl's Hannah Simone, owner of two cats herself, hosted the Saturday evening event and spoke to THR while sitting on faux grass playing with a calico kitten.

"I'm here for these guys," Simone said, motioning to the ball of fur that calmly sat at the base of her stilettos. "I love that Catdance really promotes cat adoptions and tries to place them in beautiful homes."

Catdance, which took place at Italian restaurant Cisero's, was strangely exclusive, boasting a line of hopeful attendees that rivaled many of the bars and parties on Main Street in Park City.  

The whole event was meant to be an immersive experience that aimed to put you in the mindset of a festivalgoing cat. At the start of the party, guests were given sequined cat ears, while a few self-applied black whiskers and noses.     

Also available for attendees was a virtual realty experience consisting of a two-minute video meant to put the user in the body of a cat waiting to be adopted. The viewer is taken on an emotional roller coaster as she experiences the heartbreak of being turned down by a gentleman who nudges her out of the way with his boot, and the joy of being taken in a cat carrier to a home where the user gets to roam around until finding a stash of Fresh Step litter, Catdance's corporate partner.  

In the screening room, which was flanked by two bars, partygoers sat on bean bag chairs, drank and watched cat videos like it was an average college party.

Catdance is meant for those who consider themselves cinephiles and feline aficionados, where films that feature shelter cats are screened onstage next to a 4-foot-tall sequined litter scoop that was to be awarded to the grand prize winner. Also being awarded to the winner: $25,000. 

"This is all to elevate the cats," one partygoer said.

And elevate it did.

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