Film fest is PURR-fect
Metro Cinema serves up Internet vids for humane society org
Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 06:00 am
It’s hard to be grumpy when you’re watching funny videos with cats. Up until now, members of the public had to be content to view the perpetually perturbed Tardar Sauce (a.k.a. Grumpy Cat) and similar videos on their home TV and computer monitors.
Things are moving to the big screen for three days only this weekend, as the first ever Just for Cats Film Festival takes over the Metro Cinema. The festival will feature more than one hour’s worth of popular funny cat videos, all in an effort to help promote a national animal advocacy agency.
Stephanie Rigby explained that it’s a light-hearted way to spread the word on a very serious message.
“Our role nationally is really about awareness and trying to find unique and interesting ways to draw attention to the issues. Cats are a big issue,” the Edmonton-based chair of the society’s board said.
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the only national organization that represents humane societies and SPCAs, and promotes the humane treatment of all animals. Summer is a particularly tough time for many animal shelters. Just last week, the Edmonton Humane Society shut its doors to new animal surrenders as it went over capacity with more cats and dogs than it could safely house and care for.
Rigby said that there has been a lot of great work done across Canada over the last few decades but the statistics still paint a pretty grim picture. There are still far too many animals in shelters and those that are euthanized, she continued.
“For cats, the issue is far more dramatic than what happens with dogs. Cats are twice as likely to end up in shelter as a dog and they have less than one per cent of being reunited with their families compared to 30 per cent chance for dogs.”
All cats should be spayed or neutered, have permanent identification (including either tattoo, microchip or both) and should be strictly indoors if at all possible. Because there are still so many cats who don’t meet all of those criteria, this time of year is what she calls “kitten season.”
“If you go to any shelter right now across the country, they are inundated with kittens. We love dogs – don’t get me wrong – but they have public events. They have dog jogs, walks in the park ... they’re very social animals. You don’t have a lot of cat events. It’s very difficult to get a roomful of cats together and have a good time.”
Since the society works to promote its cause in unique ways, it heard about this film festival that was curated through the Walker Art Center based in Minnesota. The society procured the rights to screen the selection across Canada. It has lined up events in 11 cities including Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax and Vancouver. Rigby herself will be in attendance during each of the screenings.
This hour-long compilation reel features the greatest hits of funny cat videos from all across the Internet. It’s the first-ever festival devoted to the best in cat-themed YouTube and Vine videos. It features such favourite online feline stars as Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Keyboard Cat, Henri le Chat Noir, and the NONONONO cat.
People can even share their own videos of their feline friends through the CFHS’ Facebook page to win tickets and fame.
Proceeds from the screenings will go to the CFHS to support its work to ease the burden on shelters, reduce euthanasia rates and find permanent homes for abandoned cats.
For more information on the society, people can visit www.cfhs.ca.