by Jeanie Riess
"It’s not just about Internet cat videos, it’s about watching Internet cat videos together," says Rachel Joyce of the Walker Art Center in Minnesota, about the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival, which comes to New Orleans June 28.
The festival, which is apparently the first of its kind in the world, aims to bring the Internet community together - the internet community that spends countless hours on Youtube watching cats trying to wedge themselves into tiny cardboard boxes, that is - from city to city. Founded in 2012, the festival now tours internationally, adapting its program to the needs and desires of each city.
This year's video festival was curated by none other than Will Braden, who cat video enthusiasts will most definitely recognize from the Youtube classic Henri le Chat Noir, the French existentialist cat whose torment goes far beyond kitty litter and other quotidian woes.
The festival is being hosted by local non-profits Spaymart and Art for Cats Sake at the New Orleans Museum of Art. There are three showings on the 28th: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Choose one or just sit through all three. (You know you'll want to.) Tickets are $12 and can be purchased here. There will also be a related festival in City Park, which is free to attend and will feature costume contests, photo contests, feline art and food and drinks. There's a cat photo contest for people to enter before the date of the festival (more details on that here, too).
During the festival, there's a "people dressed as cats" contest. That contest, thank God, is split into two categories, one for kids and one for adults.
The celebration of the world's most aloof and vaguely narcissistic house pet will raise funds for Spaymart and Art for Cats Sake, whose mission it is to improve the lines of feline friends in Louisiana.