By Marilyn Freund
There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and cats on the internet. People love cat videos, and if you have any doubt about the universal truth of that, let me throw a few numbers at you, based on my admittedly cursory research.
YouTube alone had two million cat videos in 2015, and they were viewed 25 billion times. And those numbers have done nothing but increase. It is the single most popular category on YouTube and it is estimated that photos and videos of cats drive 15% of all internet traffic. Even my highly allergic friends love cat videos.
“CatVideoFest” is a Special Purpose Corporation whose mission statement is “Bringing the joy of cat videos to the masses and raising money for cats in need.” The company hosts one-night events in cities around the world, and in each location, it partners with a local cat charity, animal welfare organization or shelter that receives a donation from the ticket sales.
Everyone who knows me knows I love cats, which means I see a lot of cat videos. People send them to me every week. So I was pleased to see a lot of new videos in this collection, as well as a few internet stars like Simon’s Cat and Henri, the French Existentialist Cat. The reel is divided into sections, somewhat arbitrarily labeled “Drama,” “Action,” “Comedy,” etc.
Mixed in with the funny and the heart-tugging are a few informational pieces on interesting cat welfare groups (Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Hawaii and a group caring for lost and abandoned cats in war-torn Ukraine). There’s a video about the significance of cats in Turkish culture and another about all the different sounds that big cats make. Did you know that big cats purr just like house cats, and that leopards have a cry that sounds like a saw going through a wooden plank?
But mostly, as you might expect, there are cats being silly, amusing, clever, fierce, idiotic, ornery, and everything else we love about them. Cats sleeping in bizarre and adorable positions. Cats swatting at things (their own tails included). Cats getting into places they shouldn’t be. And of course, cats cuddling with and tormenting their classic cartoon enemies, dogs. Many of the videos are very short, just the sort of ten seconds you’d record of your own cat. And if you do, you can submit it to CatVideoFest 2023 HERE
When asked for advice for those who hope to make their own successful cat videos, Fest creator Will Braden suggests, “Keep it short! Make sure your cat is into it. And whatever the best part is, make sure it’s right at the end of the video.”
Why go see cat videos in a theater when you could watch them on line? Well, let’s go back to those numbers. At CatVideoFest 2022 you can see a pre-selected program without spending half your life on YouTube, you’ll have a simpatico audience to laugh and go “Awwww” with, and you will be helping cats in need. It’s a win-win-win!
“Watching silly cat videos is good for you.” – The Wall Street Journal
Marilyn Freund is a former entrepreneur and business owner. Since her early retirement, she has served on the board of a non-profit, created websites, co-written scripts, done voice-overs, and baked many a killer bundt cake. She loves eating, drinking, and watching films, and has been writing for as long as she can remember including her Game of Scones review for EDF.
In her current incarnation, Marilyn volunteers at Marin Humane, working in Cat Behavior and as an Adoption Counselor. It’s kitten season, so if you are looking for a new buddy or family member, check out the sweethearts who are available at Marin Humane!
In 2012 Will Braden, creator of the CatVideoFest suggested an event to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Read a conversation with Will about watching hundreds of videos how he decides which videos get in.
Purrviews of past CatVideoFests
Braden has created his own series of videos, Henri Le Chat Noir. The first one is “On Cat Food Boredom.”
Henri passed away at the age of 17 and you can read about it.
Braden talks about selecting films at the 2016 Fest in Los Angeles.
Other Cat Video Festivals
More Cat Movies
“Cat Daddies, Mye Hoang’s irresistibly appealing documentary, is so insightfully observed, beautifully crafted and warmly empathetic that even normally feline-averse viewers will want to sing its praises and hold it close to their hearts.” Joe Leydon
Have you seen Kedi?
You can stream it free from Kanopy or rent/purchase on other platforms per Just Watch.