Do you like cats? How about videos of cats? How about 79 videos of cats in a row, the best of internet cat-lady-dom, pulled from all over YouTube and created all over the world? This is “#catvidfest,” and it’s coming to UMass Boston.
The event began as part of the Open Field, a three-year-long program run by Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. The first #catvidfest on Aug. 30, 2012 was wildly successful due to both the popularity of the Open Field program and the popularity of cats. Thousands of videos were submitted and 10,000 people attended.
The cats are from Japan, France, the US and all over the world. The videos are divided into categories: Comedy, Foreign, Animated, Documentary, Musical, Art House, and Lifetime Achievement. Voting that took place online shortly after the showing in August elected seven People’s Choice winners, the best of the best of online cats.
Even since its earliest stage, the festival has become a worldwide sensation. It’s been written about by Wired, the BBC, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Time Magazine. The entire lineup from #catvidfest is available online on the Walker Art Center’s YouTube account, where it’s gotten over 800,000 views. Some of the individual videos have well over a million.
Now, #catvidfest is hitting the road, and the UMass Boston campus is its very first stop. The Harbor Art Gallery will present #catvidfest on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. outside on the plaza. Seating will not be provided, so bring a blanket. Just like the first #catvidfest in Minnesota, this event will be free and open to the public, attended by students and non-students alike.
Scott Stulen, project director at the Walker Arts Center and #catvidfest co-creator, will be present to answer questions. Your fellow UMass Boston students will be present to make you feel normal about skipping dinner so you can sit out in the cold for an hour and a half watching other people’s house pets try to jump into box.