Greenpoint Gazette

The Internet Cat Video Film Festival Lands at the Warsaw in October

BY Lizette Borreli

Cats give two paws up for the second annual Internet Cat Video Festival’s New York City debut in Brooklyn

The feline-friendly festival that drew over 10,000 people at its debut last summer, meows its way to the Warsaw this fall.

With nearly 5,000 submissions already received for the second annual festival, which is set to return to Minnesota in August before heading east, creator Scott Stulen wants to take the event to the next level.

“Julie Klausner is hosting the event and we [Internet Cat Video Festival] have many of the creators and some celebrity cats scheduled to attend” said Stulen, who promised a completely unique experience for Brooklyn attendees with special guests and other surprises.

A sincere passion for Internet cat videos inspired the festival, which took an online community offline, while engaging a new audience. Cat Video Festival organizers were very aware of the popularity of cats on the Internet but wondered how it would be received at a real world event.

The idea of projecting cute cat videos from a laptop caught the attention of Scenic Presents’ Robert Johnson who approached Stulen about bringing the festival to Brooklyn. The creator agreed that Greenpoint seemed like the perfect setting for the New York City debut.

Brooklynites still have a chance to turn their fur balls into instant stars. Currently, the festival has received 50 New York entries, a number which is expected to increase as the June 1st deadline approaches. All submissions are taken online and must be publicly available on YouTube or Vimeo. Clips should come in under 90 seconds. There are no limits on the number of submissions one can make.

What videos make the final cut, you ask? “Some videos are highly produced, while some are from shaky cell phones that capture a specific moment” Stulen said about the selection process. “Each has a different criterion for what makes it compelling.”

Approximately 80 videos are show in the 90-minute film festival in categories such as Comedy, Drama, Musical, Documentary, Foreign Film, Art House and Lifetime Achievement. There’s also a locally produced video class. Henri, le Chat Noir, the judge’s favorite, was last year’s Golden Kitty winner. The viral cat phenomenon combined a distinct personality of a French existential cat, a playful sense of humor and a film noir style of production.

Honorable guests at the second annual Cat Video Festival could include 2013 top contenders such as Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, Henri, Lil’ Bub and Maru.

“It’s not about watching Internet cat videos, it’s about watching cat videos together” is the Cat Video Festival’s motto. Stulen believes that the public craves the non-hip, the un-ironic and the genuine experience and this is why the festival generates a large crowd. “There is something very unique about watching Maru with a thousand other people, and here is your chance,” he concluded.

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