1. For starters, it’s called “Catdance.” Like Sundance, but a cat version. A cat version is always roughly a million times better.
Film buffs, journalists, starlets, and hangers-on — looking at you, Harry Styles — all flocked to Park City, Utah, this year to celebrate the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
But for those who believe the silver screen belongs to a fluffier breed, the Catdance Film Festival was the only place to be. It takes place right on Main Street, just like a lot of other Sundance events, except the difference is that Catdance is one night of purrrfect cat film glory.
2. The event is hosted by Gilles Marini, who is French, and sexy, and a “cat guy.”
“I am a cat guy, yeah. I’m an animal lover, I have to tell the truth,” Marini told BuzzFeed in the green room before the Catdance event started. “I’ve had cats, pretty much all my life… My [cat] Penelope, she’s going to be one year in April. She’s a sweetheart. I’m lying. She does whatever the hell she wants.”
Catdance isn’t just a great opportunity to showcase short films by cat enthusiast filmmakers, but as part of the film festival, Fresh Step donates $25,000 to the ASPCA. And it also helps to raise money through the sale of the event T-shirts, of which 100% of the profits are donated to the ASPCA.
“More than $2.5 million have been donated to the ASPCA,” Marini said. “I’m involved because I love cats and I love animals.”
3. All of the drinks have names that are cat versions of iconic actors, and they are delicious.
I sampled the Catphrey Bogart, and it was just as smooth and handsome as I expected. (Can a drink be handsome? Whatever, this one was.)
4. There was free food, and while it thankfully wasn’t actual cat food, it had a nice touch of cat on the packaging.
Along with regular butter popcorn, they also had chili popcorn and toffee. Beat that, Sundance!
5. Oh, and all of this candy was also free and in small enough sizes that you could sample it all.
6. There was a red carpet where people could pose with enormous cats.
7. And a photo booth filled with cat toys that people could play and pose with.
8. Did I mention that the films you get to watch are all ABOUT CATS and STAR CATS?!
Out of all of the furry filmmakers who entered, five finalists were chosen and premiered at the Catdance Film Festival. The short films were all hilarious, and featured cats in the leading roles. You can watch them in full here, and vote on a winner.
9. Basically, everything about these short films was tailored in a way that anyone who loves cats — or nice things — would be happy.
“Werner Catzog.” That is all.
10. The audience got to vote on the five films — the voting is still open, so go and cast your own vote! — and the winning film will receive $50,000 and a Fresh Step Golden Litter Scoop.
It’s very prestigious.
11. Everyone got to watch the films in 3D, and even the 3D glasses had little cat ears on them.
12. If you weren’t into 3D glasses, then there were really cute cat ear headbands you could snag.
13. Pretty much all of the cool kids wore those. See?
14. Even something simple, like going to the bathroom, was aptly cat themed.
The litter boxes were coed, FYI.
15. There was cat makeup, to help you look your very kitty best.
16. And kitty tattoos that even your parents would think are totally adorable.
17. The second annual Catdance Film Festival was a night to remember, needless to say.
So next year, when you’re deciding which films to see in Park City, just remember to reserve some time for the Catdance films. If for no other reason than because it helps donate money to a great cause, and has plenty of litter boxes to go around.