The first Internet Cat Video Festival (#catvidfest) took place at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on August 30, 2012, as a part of its Open Field program. Drawing an audience of more than 10,000 people (and a few felines), the festival was a communal experience for fans of the online phenomenon of cat videos and included submissions from around the world. Selected from some 10,000 nominations, the program was divided into the categories of Comedy, Drama, Foreign, Animated, Musical, Documentary, Cat Stretch!, Art House, Honorable Mention, Lifetime Achievement, and People’s Choice. The Golden Kitty award for best in show went to Henri 2: Paw de Deux, by Will Braden.
What began as a social experiment testing the boundaries of online communities and crowd-sourcing public content resulted in attention from local, national, and international audiences and press, including the Los Angeles Times, Wired, Newsweek, Huffington Post, the New York Times, Boston Globe, the Atlantic, AP, and the BBC. www.walkerart.org/catvidfest
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