Two kinds of videos dominate the internet, and only one of those is best enjoyed in the company of others. When a festival dedicated to the cat video format sprung up at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center several years ago, thousands gathered to share in the joy of these feline films and vote on the best.
The programming at the Walker’s Internet Cat Video Festival has been impressively diverse, encompassing the existential black-and-white musings of Henri, Le Chat Noir as well as lighter fare from such genres as “cat chasing laser pointer.” As Henri would tell you, however, good things and happiness are fleeting, and the festival was doomed to be resigned to the kitty litter box of history after four wildly popular runs. But not before a world tour, which stops at the Texas Theatre on Aug. 24. (And, proving that it may have at least nine lives to spare, it was later announced that the festival will apparently continue annually in Minneapolis, although it will no longer be sponsored by the art center.)
The program features close to 100 videos — categories include comedy, drama, animated, musical, action, vintage, and documentary — and the Dallas Video Association, which is helping bring this show to town, is soliciting entries from local filmmakers and their cats. Go here and look under the “cat video” tab on the right to submit. Register for Dallas VideoFest while you’re at it.
For a sampling of what to expect at this summer’s Dallas edition of the cat video festival, curated by Le Chat Noir creator Will Braden, we took a deep hit of some catnip and plunged into the proverbial rabbit hole, collecting standouts from Cat Video Festivals past. Here are a few, chosen to represent the breadth of internet cat videos, better watched with a friend, best with a few hundred new friends.
The 2015 People’s Choice “Golden Kitty” Award Winner:
An arthouse classic: