In a human realm, Grumpy Cat would have strutted her stuff down the red carpet before receiving the coveted Golden Kitty Award.
Chosen for the People’s Choice Award after receiving more than 20,000 online votes, she stole the spotlight from last year’s winner, Henri, le Chat Noir, pictured, at the culmination of the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival last week in Minneapolis.
The tough competition included a cat who rides a Roomba vacuum cleaner robot while wearing a shark costume.
Barking cats, felines playing a tune on the piano, angry critters and an array of kitties have taken over the Internet. On YouTube, "Surprised Kitty," a video that features a cat reacting to having its stomach poked, has more than 71 million views, while a video of a cat slowly stalking a camera man has more than 41 million.
The viral cat video phenomenon inspired the Honolulu Museum of Art to host the Internet Cat Video Festival (known as #catvidfest in the social media world) at the museum’s Doris Duke Theatre, Saturday to Thursday.
Last year, the first cat video festival drew a crowd of about 10,000 to the Walker Art Center. This year, the festival will travel to more than 20 U.S. cities and will even make a stop at a drive-in theater in Northern Ireland.
WALKER ART CENTER’S INTERNET CAT VIDEO FESTIVAL
>> Where: Doris Duke Theatre at Honolulu Museum of Art
CAT COSTUME CONTEST
Come dressed as your favorite feline on opening night Saturday. The winner will be announced at the screening. The most “PAWsome” costume wins a pair of film tickets and a #catvidfest poster.
INSTAGRAM CAT VIDEO CONTEST
Saturday to Sept. 12
Film your own cat doing cute, wacky or funny things. Upload the video to your Instagram account, tagging #catvidfestHI. The contest winner receives a basic museum membership, valued at $25, which includes free admission to the museum and ARTafterDARK events and discounts at the Doris Duke Theatre.
The bill features more than 80 videos, including favorites like Grumpy Cat, Henri, Pudge the Cat, Maru and Lil Bub.
The clips are organized in an award-show format with categories including comedy, drama, foreign, documentary, musical and lifetime achievement.
Although she’s allergic to cats and considers herself a "dog person," Abbie Algar, Doris Duke Theatre’s film curator, says she can’t deny that some of the videos are hilarious.
"It seems to be a universal thing to make fun of cats," she said. "Most people watch these videos on their computers at home, so it will be a different experience watching them together."
This may not be the typical type of film you’d see playing at the theater, but "it reflects contemporary culture," Algar says.
Feline philosopher Henri, le Chat Noir, who has his own website, Twitter account and Facebook page, is Algar’s favorite. "I can relate to him. He’s always in existential crisis but he’s cute," she said. "Cats act quite serious but they can have peculiar personalities."
The cat festival is creating quite a buzz.
"Everyone at the museum is talking about it," Algar said. "It’s only going to grow and we’ll want to be on board. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops."