June 15, 2024
NY Cat Film Festival poster promoted the showing in Kitchener, Ont. (Kirsten Kitto/ Spoke)

 If you’re the owner of a fuzzy, four-legged, feline friend, this is the movie for you. The second Annual NY Cat Film Festival recently visited the Apollo Cinema in Kitchener.

What exactly is a cat film festival? It’s a two-hour collection of homemade cat videos submitted from filmmakers around the world showcasing how magnificent and complex cats truly are.  

The Annual NY Cat Film Festival is presented by founder and director Tracie Hotchner, and The Radio Pet Lady Network, which she helps run. 

Hotchner said during an interview with the New York Times, “the intention is to illuminate who cats are and how they fit into our world. And that illumination is not about cuteness.”

These 14 short films accurately capture that point, and touch on some situations that are far from “cute.”

Craig Galbraith, who came with his family from Guelph to watch the film, said: “We’re cat lovers. We have three cats at home, and we often find ourselves, like watching cat videos, we’ll watch them on YouTube on the TV, and that’s what we’ll do on Saturday morning.” 

Some of the home videos included in the film were “Mittens from Kittens,” a step by step tutorial on how to spin cat fur and create yarn. “Akamatsu the Cat,” a 10-minute tearjerker about what it’s like being the caretaker of a pet with paralyzed legs and a wheelchair. And “Cat Nation: A film About Japan’s Crazy Cat Culture,” which says it all in the name.

“It’s just fun to come to a curated set of short films, you know, that we probably wouldn’t find on our own,” said Galbraith. “And it’s true, we’ve never seen any of these.”

Attending the NY Cat Film Festival also helps out a local animal shelter or foundation in each city it plays by donating a portion of every ticket.

The film played Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. 

Students receive a discounted ticket price of five dollars, and other prices can be found listed on their website.  For more information and dates in other cities, pounce over to https://catfilmfestival.com

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