CAT FILM FESTIVAL, VOL. 1 (Movie Review)
From DARK STAR PICTURES
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😽
The Cat Film Festival is an annual New York event founded by animal advocate Tracie Hotchner. She also oversees a dog film festival, but since our staff only enjoys canine cinema when the dog dies at the end, we’ve decided to narrow our focus.
The title is just a tad misleading, since Cat Film Festival Vol 1 is not quite the ‘collection’ I expected. It consists of only five films, two of which make up an hour of the scant running time. The other three mostly serve as bookends.
It starts off great, with a faux commercial that parodies prescription ads, touting the physical and mental health benefits of cats and a hilarious list of potential side-effects from keeping one as a pet. Next is a short documentary about a man who specializes in grooming uncooperative cats. The guy gears up like going to war and watching him in action is pretty amusing.
The first lengthy piece, “Jetty Cats,” features a Southern California wharf that’s been home to abandoned & feral cats for decades. A local animal rights group feeds, protects and neuters them while respecting their independence (the “trap-neuter-release” program is apparently catching on in various regions where stray cats congregate). The film also provides a narrative history of how cats have been domesticated - and sometimes vilified - over the centuries. The other longer piece features an Arizona shelter that started a program where kittens are raised and socialized at various Alzheimer’s care facilities before being placed for adoption (benefitting the cats while providing a form of therapy for the patients).
|This cat knows how to rock.|
From an entertainment standpoint, the three short films are highly amusing and the fact that the program starts-off with two of them has the viewer anticipating a variety of funny stories & sketches featuring cats and their owners. Not to take away from the longer features - the first is quite interesting; the second is filled with touching moments - but they sharply contrast the lighter tone established by the shorts. Both are good films, but to be truly honest, they aren’t as fun and probably should’ve been part of a different program.
But that’s just me. Maybe the main purpose of Cat Film Festival is to create awareness and advocacy rather than pure entertainment. If so, I suppose Vol 1 - with more volumes coming to Amazon & Tubi in upcoming weeks - accomplishes its goals. There are felines o’ plenty, but cat lovers purely looking for feline fun should probably stick to YouTube.