Photos: Minn. cat video fest a purr-fect viewing

Associated Press
Leroy Bergstrom of Maple Plain, Minn. arrives with his cat Maestro before the Walker Art Center's first "Internet Cat Video Film Festival," showcasing the best of cat films on the Internet in Minneapolis Thursday Aug. 30, 2012. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis held its first-ever online cat video festival, a compilation of silly cat clips that have become an Internet phenomenon, attracting millions of viewers for some of the videos. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis tested the boundaries of legitimate art with a film festival devoted to the online cat videos that pervade YouTube and social networks.

It's not unheard of for some cat videos to rack up as many as 50 million YouTube views. Most are simple: a cat tries and fails to jump into a cardboard box, or makes a ridiculously cute noise while eating a spoonful of sour cream. Some are more cinematic, with tricky angles, animated graphics, mood music and other tricks of the filmmaking trade.

Organizers of Thursday night's festival said they wanted to find out whether the private experience of viewing the videos online would translate to a shared and social experience when shown on an outdoor screen on the museum's grounds.

The festival made room for various kinds of cat videos, with categories for comedy, drama, foreign, animated, musical, art-house and documentary. Participants voted on a "People's Choice" award, and several "lifetime achievements" were handed out to a few of the all-time popular videos.

Organizers say what started as a lark quickly took on bigger dimensions when they got thousands of submissions for the festival.

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