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Lisa Donato’s quirky film about Gus, who thinks he is a cat. Photo courtesy of High Paw Media.

For the past three years, New York City has pleased its dog lovers by hosting the NY Dog Film Festival, but fear not cat lovers because coming this December to the Chelsea’s SVA Theatre is the NY Cat Film Festival

Gus is featured in program two “Little Works of Art.” Photo courtesy of High Paw Media

Featuring a medley of documentary and narrative short films, this first annual Cat Film Festival seeks “to honor the mysterious felines, who have fascinated mankind for centuries and continue to enchant us.” Just like dogs, cats are able to create an indescribable bond with people. But there’s a unique connection felines are able to form with each other and with humans.

Filmmaker Lava Sheets’s self-portrait of the isolation and depression of being disabled, imagining the consoling thoughts of her devoted kitty, Apple Brown Betty. Photo courtesy of High Paw Media.

This very connection is what this event is looking to celebrate. In return, the NY CFF will give back to the animal welfare groups that keep cats protected and healthy. In New York in particular, the NY CFF will be giving back to a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the NYC Feral Cat Initiative.

Founded by Tracie Hotchner, a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, NY CFF is “an exploration through film of the fascinating felines who share our lives, creating a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains.”

American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, NC featured in program two “Little Works of Art.” Photo courtesy of High Paw Media.

The Festival will have its premier in on Saturday, December 9 at the SVA Theatre on 333 W. 23rd Street will be split in two parts, screening two movies each about 70 minutes long.

Shown first at 3:00 pm will be Nobody Owns a Cat, featuring the stories of a professional cat groomer; a preschool teacher who has only her cat as company over winter break; the sweeping history of cats throughout human history, while addressing today’s debate about the best management for community cats; warping up with a visual “poem” on the morning ritual of Tuscan cat.

Following at 4:30 pm is Little Works of Art, where audiences will see life with a disabled kitty cat, a peek at what a New Jersey “cat fighting ring” run by old ladies might look like, the community cats living in the iconic Buenos Aires Recoleta cemetery, along with many more stories.

Cat under the Tuscan sun from program one”Nobody Owns a Cat.” Photo courtesy of High Paw Media.

Akamatsu featured in “Little Works of Art.” Photo courtesy of High Paw Media

What will become an annual event to add to our list of film festivals to attend in the city, will also be spreading the good news about cats across the country, traveling to theaters along with the NY Dog Film Festival.

Tickets for the NY CFF are $15 for each film and are available for purchase here. If you’d like a full weekend of pet love, be sure to get tickets to the NY Dog Film Festival happening the next day, December 10, at the same SVA Theatre, with showings of two films at 2:45 and 4:45 pm.

Check out the trailer to the Cat Film Festival below.

Next, go Inside the Hidden Cat Sanctuary on NYC’s Roosevelt Island and if you haven’t already heard, NYC’s Algonquin Hotel’s Former Resident Cat, Matilda III, Has Passed Away

 cats, film festival, School of Visual Arts

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