Alumna-Created 'Internet Cat Video Film Festival' Pounces Onto State Fair Grandstand Aug. 28

One might say that the Walker Art Center's inaugural Internet Cat Video Film Festival, held last September, was nearly “purr-fect.” Held on the open field adjacent to the Walker, the festival drew more than 10,000 fans and garnered national attention, including coverage by the New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter, and exceeded the expectations of its creator, 2012 master's in art history alumna Katie Czarnieki Hill.

Back by popular demand, the second edition of the festival will be held Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand.

Hill, who now is the audience engagement specialist at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, said the first festival "was about bringing a solitary online experience offline and literally into the open. It was about sharing in a guilty pleasure, acknowledging that cats had taken over the Internet, and having a good time with popular culture. It was a social experiment. It was about shared joy. I can only hope this continuation of what I started will facilitate even more shared joy at the great Minnesota get-together this year."

The Golden Kitty award for best video again will be awarded. Henri le Chat Noir, the feline star of last year's Golden Kitty award-winning video, "Henri 2, Paw de Deux" will make a "celebricat" appearance. And in honor of the setting, a "Cat-on-a-Stick" award will be doled out to the Minnesota-produced video receiving the most votes, a cat butter sculpture will be on display, and fireworks will top off the festivities.

Hill mentioned that while she felt "slightly off put" that the festival traveled the world without her after the first festival when her hours at the Walker were cut, she is "pleased that the success of the festival helped me land my current position at the MIA. ... It's just another example of the old 'everything happens for a reason' saying, and I'm grateful."

Currently, she is programming the museum's monthly Third Thursdays and other events, including a dog-friendly event, Dog Day MIA, which will take place Sept. 14 in the MIA's backyard, Target Park. "Turns out I'm not just a cat lady!" Hill remarked.

Reserved-seat tickets to the second Internet Cat Video Film Festival are available online, by phone (800) 514-3849 or at the State Fairgrounds Box Office.

Read more about the inaugural festival in this Newsroom article.

Here's a video with highlights from the inaugural Internet Cat Video Festival held last August.