Last night, folks descended on Walker Art Center's big hill to honor the best of cats on the internet, something we normally enjoy privately at home. This was the third installment of the Internet Cat Video Fest, and it was as well attended and festive as ever. There were people dressed as cats, people with balloon creations on their heads, people with real cats on their shoulders, and even a few friendly dogs.
The field was mostly full by 6 p.m., and the lines for beer were epic. Some smart groups came prepared, as many revelers on the lawn could be seen sharing picnic amenities before sunset.
There were some mild technical issues early on, as the screen briefly deflated before things started up. However, it was quickly restored. Before the videos started, Lil Bub and his owner, Mike Bridavsky, took the stage. "Be quiet, she's really sensitive," he warned the audience, who then whispered a soft "Awwww!"
Once the vids began rolling, sight lines could be a little tricky on certain areas of the hill. There was definitely some panic for a few testy people in the crowd, but after a few minutes getting re-situated, everything was fine (this is an event with major concert-level attendance, which merits concert rules: Don't expect to stay seated in certain areas, folks).
As with previous years, the videos screened varied wildly. There were spoofs (Star Wars!), there were raucous music videos, there were quietly meditative cartoons, there were cat bloopers, and plenty of bits featuring cats being... cats. The audience laughed, cheered, and clapped throughout, but the films that featured felines being naturally kitty-like drew the biggest responses, as the humor is more universal as opposed to relying on the viewer's knowledge of pop culture or the cat owner's sense of humor.
The final segment featured the Golden Kitty nominees. The top video is determined through online voting. Past winners have included the iconic The Original Grumpy Cat Video and Henri: Paw de Deux (Henri's owner, Will Braden, curated this year's festival). Nominated pieces this year ran the gamut, from off-the-cuff cat moments to highly stylized and scripted pieces. In the end, Rob Moore's 8 Signs of Addiction, starring a cat strung out on his toy banana, took home top honors.
Overall, the third year of the Internet Cat Video Fest was a hit, and for many, the party continued on the bus ride home (there were some very confused commuters on my ride home on the 4).
Check out some of the top tweets after the jump. [page]
Cat time! pic.twitter.com/91rPqTyqAf— The Dressing Room (@cpdressingroom) August 14, 2014
Lil Bub is heading to the bar... pic.twitter.com/TX7pcYKE3d— The Dressing Room (@cpdressingroom) August 15, 2014