BOSTON (AP) — Forget about trying to get any work done on Thursday: the Internet Cat Video Festival is returning to Boston.
The festival comes to the Berklee Performance Center for the second straight year to showcase a collection of amusing and adorable cat clips.
Among the offerings is a 65-minute compilation “Cat Behavior Finally Explained,” a video that attempts to analyze the weird things cats do like eating houseplants and trying to open locked cabinets. The minute-long clip won this year’s “Golden Kitty,” the festival’s top award, which is picked by voters online.
Other clips range from six-second Vine videos to short films, including a video of a cat that incessantly rings a bell to get a treat, a cat that scares away a black bear and a cat that eats ice cream and gets brain freeze.
The event is produced by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. This year’s videos were curated by Will Braden, creator of the popular Henri le Chat Noir videos on YouTube. Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain will serve as the event’s emcee.
“Why did I agree to do this? Because it’s a fun thing,” says Zittrain, an admitted dog owner who specializes in cyber law and policy. “Whatever we’re worried about, there are always cat videos to watch. And I’m grateful for that.”
Cathy Horn, Senior Director of Concert Operations at the Berklee Performance Center, helped bring the event to Boston.
“I thought it’d be nice to do something other than a concert and just kind of diversify our programming a little,” she says. “I also have six cats. I am a cat person. So just knowing myself and knowing other cat lovers, I knew it would have enough of a mass appeal to be successful.”
The festival, which takes place on National Cat Day, will also bring out representatives from the Gifford Cat Shelter, Boston’s Forgotten Felines and Ralphie’s Retreat, who will be exhibiting in the lobby.
And patrons are encouraged to come dressed in “family-friendly” cat costumes or cat-themed clothing as part of a costume contest.
The event started in 2012 when some 10,000 people attended the Walker Art Center’s first festival. The following year, the center presented the second festival to larger crowds at the Minnesota State Fair.
That led to the Minnesota festival becoming an annual event and the launch of national and international tours of the program. Boston is among dozens of dates on this year’s tour.
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