Photo: Cat Film Festival
Photo: Cat Film Festival

Nuzzle up to the Cat Film Festival (actually a single compilation film) at Midtown Cinema Sept. 10

Originally posted Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

If you are seeking solace on Tuesday, September 10, you can curl up with your kitty on your couch - or spend two hours watching 14 short films about our feline friends at the Cat Film Festival at Midtown Cinema. (Buy tickets here for $15 each. It starts at 7 p.m.)

This is the brainchild of Tracie Hotchner, a Bennington, Vt. resident who is an author, pet wellness advocate and operator of the Radio Pet Lady Network.  The film is so popular, it has been screened in about 100 cities nationwide. This is the second film she’s put together and the first time it will purr its way into Atlanta.

“When I came up with the idea, I had very low expectations. I wasn’t sure I’d get enough submissions,” said Hotchner. “But I was deluged. Dozens of people had short films, ranging from a minute to 45 minutes.”

Her criteria was simple: will the film elicit an emotion, be it tears or laughter or wonder? “Anything that really speaks to this relationship between people and cats,” she said. “And society and cats. Where they fit in our world.”

The shorts range from animation to cat grooming to pet adoption to Japan’s cat-crazy culture. 

And some of the money raised goes to a local shelter in that city. In Atlanta’s case, it’s Furkids Animal Rescue. 

As for the filmmakers, she said, they are not creating the movies with profit in mind. (There is no financial prize.)

“They’re like the poets,” she said. “They don’t do it for money or fame. They do it for passion. So for them to have all these people see their movies is in itself the reward. I send them gifts and they are welcome to come to the festival. But I don’t have the budget [for a prize.]”

To do a traditional film festival, she said, would take more money and resources than she has. 

She also runs a Dog Film Festival but she said the cat version draws twice as many people.

Here is a description of each of the 14 shorts:

- The Pet Effect (2:00) Prescription: cat

- Little Works of Art (13:00) Kim Best’s look at Harold "Cat Man" Sims and his self-styled American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, NC, which houses over 10,000 cat-related objects and honors cats as "little works of art”

- Art’s Automotive (6:00 )Erik Dumas’ animated tale of an orphaned kitten who bonds with an automotive repair robot in the future

- Akamatsu the Cat (10:00) Ian Christopher Goodman’s documentary about life with a disabled kitty cat, Akamatsu, who was paralyzed but went on to live another 4 vibrant years with the use of a wheelchair-

- Pure Fluff (4:00) Sean Skelton’s documentary sketch of a professional cat groomer in New York City, who shows how to tackle this combative challenge

- Winter Break (5:00) Rick Hamilton’s look at the thoughts of a school teacher who has only her cat for company during winter break

- Guardians of Recoleta (21:00) Blake & Adrienne Kuhre (who run their own non-profit cat rescue in Los Angeles) examine the community cats living in the iconic Buenos Aires Recoleta cemetery, and what became of some kitties removed by well-meaning American rescuers

- Scaredy, the Cat (8:00) Markie Hancock’s heartwarming documentary about a very shy cat who was adopted at the tennis courts in NYC’s Riverside park but avoids everyone except for a few choice people whom she eagerly greets

- Marnie: The Cat Guru (2:00) Anca Vlasan’s philosophical tabby cat expounds on the meaning of life and happiness

- Cat Nation: A Film About Japan’s Crazy Cat Culture (26:00) Tim Delmastro’s documentary about Japan’s extraordinary love of kitty cats

- Instagram Cat Mom (5:00) Jess Spawn's mockumentary takes us behind the scenes on the lengths people might go to for the purrfect photo to post online

- Samantha and the Rock Cats (11:00) Jacob Feiring’s documentary follows a woman who travels the country with her cat show

- Mittens from Kittens (4:00) Kim Best’s documentary shows how one woman was inspired by the nuisance of cat hair into spinning and knitting it into useful item

- Beth Is Not a Cat (3:00) Beth is not a cat, but looks like one, which perplexes her orange tabby. 

Tuesday, September 10

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 


Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Dr. , Atlanta

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.