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The first Cat Video Film Festival had a purrfect ending after awarding Henri 2, Paw de Deux its people’s choice award, the Golden Kitty. “This is a great honor,” the video’s creator, William Brandon, said while accepting his award. “I don’t think I’ve ever purred this loudly!”
The idea of a cat film festival may sound like a joke, but that’s because it started out as one, according to Festival organizer Katie Czarniecki Hill, 28, a program associate at the Walker Art Center, the venue who hosted the event.
“It is an experiment,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “It will be interesting to see if people think it is silly, or great, or a waste of time. But I like the idea of everyone admitting they like cat videos.”
In all, more than 10,000 curious cat-lovers came out for the event Thursday night, easily double what organizers were expecting, according to The New York Times. The event drew attention when organizers asked for people to submit videos online, and, like all cat-related activities in the axiom of the internet, the process went viral. 10,000 videos worldwide were submitted over the course of a few months.
“A lot of people have cats, but I don’t think they talk about it as much — it’s not as visible as the dogs are,” Vicki Lowell, senior vice president for marketing and operations at the cable channel Animal Planet, which approached the Walker Art Center to become a sponsor of the event, told The New York Times. Animal Planet will be broadcasting the Golden Kitty-award-winning video during the season finale of My Cat From Hell (September 8, 8 p.m. EST).
Hill and a hand-selected jury of several colleagues narrowed the 10,000 entries down to 79 videos, all of which were shown Thursday during the 75-minute festival on the lawn.
But if you couldn’t make it out to Minneapolis for the event, don’t fret: the full list of entries are listed online, with access to the selected videos on YouTube. We hope you weren’t planning on doing anything later–this could take up the rest of your day.
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