IU Cinema to screen 70-minute reel of cat videos, raise money for cats in need


A poster for CatVideoFest is seen Feb. 17 outside the IU Cinema. The film is a compilation reel of cat video submissions and sourced footage and will be screened from 4-5:15 p.m. Feb. 22 at the IU Cinema. Karen Cheng

CatVideoFest, a 70-minute reel of cat videos, will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday at IU Cinema.

This cat video compilation screens in cities around America in order to raise money for cats in need by donating a portion of the profits to a local animal shelters or animal welfare organizations, according to the CatVideoFest website.

The majority of the event’s proceeds will go to Lil BUB’s BIG Fund, a partnership between Lil BUB and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which raises money for special needs pets, said CatVideoFest director Will Braden. Lil BUB was a celebrity cat from Bloomington who died in December. The movie will include a montage of Lil BUB’s best moments.

Braden said BUB’s story has inspired people to help cats for better care.

“Lil BUB is kind of like a hometown hero in Bloomington,” Braden said.

The screening will feature clips from submissions posted on the CatVideoFest website.

Braden said he watches about 10,000 cat videos per year and at least 30 videos per day. He said he conducts his cat-video research by looking through social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

“It’s a fun job but a lot of work,” Braden said.

Some of the submissions Braden received included a short animation of a cat chasing a butterfly titled "Farfalla" and a humorous video of a cat that slipped and fell into a bathtub.

“Basically if there’s a cat in the video, I will watch it, and if it’s funny, interesting or touching then it can be in the reel,” Braden said.

Braden said the submissions were from 22 different countries, including the U.S., Russia, Japan and Canada.

“There’s cats all over the world,” Braden said. “It doesn’t matter to me what country they are from, I’m happy to get in touch with the people who made it and see if they want to be part of the reel.”

IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said the cinema screened last year's CatVideoFest and the community enjoyed the event.

“It accomplished everything that we hoped we accomplished,” Vickers said.

Vickers said the cinema often screens films on more serious topics, such as films in the series “The Consequences of Enduring Conflict: Exploring Israeli-Palestinian Relations," so they wanted to screen CatVideoFest to add some lighter, more fun content.

"Brittany Friesner, our associate director, is great at curating these engaging and fun programs," Vickers said.

The event will be free for children 12and younger, and $7 for general admission, according to the IU Cinema website.

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