Get Your Tickets to This Quarantine Cat Film Festival Right Meow

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Credit: Anna Spaller

Film festivals, independent theaters, and cats. One of these things is not like the others but, in aid of struggling independent theaters across the U.S., an unusual trifecta has been formed. This Friday, Pittsburgh’s Row House Cinema will be streaming the “Quarantine Cat Film Festival,” a 70-minute compilation reel of cat videos filmed by more than 1,000 people during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The Quarantine Cat Film Festival is not only a unique treat for cat lovers but also a great way to support independent theaters. Half of all ticket sales (tickets are $12) will go to small theaters across the U.S. and Canada (you can choose the theater you want to support when buying your ticket). The compilation reel will be available this Friday morning, but there’s no need to cancel other plans as you can watch the compilation reel in your own time.

Speaking to Film Threat, festival director and owner of Row House Brian Mendelssohn discussed how the idea for a virtual cat film festival came about. He said that he was inspired by his wife, who, while brainstorming potential ideas for a virtual film festival, said that he “should just share cats.” 

After fleshing out the initial concept, and with the Row House closed due to quarantine regulations, the husband and wife duo decided to start a virtual film festival where people would submit their homemade cat films. Mendelssohn also realized that their idea could help support other struggling independent theatres. 

“One thing led to another, and we realized that the engagement this generates could benefit struggling moving theatres across the country,” Mendelssohn said.

From the get-go, the festival stoked a massive interest from cat lovers across the country and received over 1,300 submissions, the best of which will be shown on Friday. All of the received submissions are going to be judged by “cat film experts” to see which ones come up top in four different categories: Bravest, funniest, most loving, and, of course, cutest cat.

Describing the popularity of the festival in a recent press release, Mendelssohn said, “Cats have kind of become our thing. We’re just leaning into it.” If cats are your thing too, and you want to support struggling local theaters, don’t miss this unique virtual film festival.