Despite the absence of car chase, blast, alien invasion, or Daniel Craig as James Bond, the two annual film festivals always attract enthusiastic ticket buyers.
What they have: beards, wilderness, and not a little wit.
They are the New York Cat Film Festival and the New York Dog Film Festival, returning to Manhattan after a break caused by a pandemic. The Cat Festival — Global Cat Day — which will be screened on Saturday at noon will consist of 21 short films totaling about 90 minutes at the Village East by Angelica Theater. Twenty short films will be screened at the approximately two-hour dog festival, which arrives at the same theater on October 24th. (Animal lovers outside of New York can also see the festival. They will tour both nationally and in Canada for several months.)
“I think this is probably the highest quality year for both,” said Vermont writer and radio host Tracie Hotchner, who founded the Dog Festival in 2015 and the Cat Edition two years later. “People couldn’t find toilet paper, but they were making beautiful movies,” she explained in a telephone interview early in the blockade of 2020.
Not surprisingly, pandemics are featured in both festivals. In the cat comedy “Will You Be My Quarantine,” actress and director Susku Ekim Kaya displays herself and her pet Lady Leia in split screen, and is relentless in grooming, watching TV, scrolling mobile phones, and making FaceTime calls. I am engaged in grooming activities. .. Although they lead a harmonious parallel life, the cat protagonists of Jasmin Scuteri-Young’s “Quarantine Diary” and Asali Echols’ “House Cats” complain that their owners are constantly present in human-provided narration. I am.
On the other hand, the subject of the dog festival seems to never crave social distance. “You don’t believe in personal space,” Kyle Scoble gently tells Dara, a mix of Labrador retrievers and pointers. Until 2020.
However, cats may have a reason for their apparently aloof attitude. “Indoor cats endure a permanent blockade,” Kim Best, director of Durham, North Carolina, said in a telephone conversation.
The observation fuels the best “great escape” of cats named Monkey trying to leave the house all at once, and consults with digital assistant Alexa. In Best’s other festival entry, “Cat Capitalization,” her pet Nube uses the Internet to market his artistic talents and is highly grateful to artists such as Mark Rothko and Vincent van Gogh. (Nube lacks one ear a little.)
Best said she aimed for “a satire of academia as well as capitalism.”
Such humor is the theme of cat festivals that feature films such as Nevada Coldwell’s “Cat Noir” and Priscilla Dean’s “Catfight at Okay Coral” parody of the old Hollywood cliché.
But while the dog movie slate isn’t without laughter, David Coole’s animation “Go Fetch” is a pointed two-minute revenge comedy. To date, far more detailed research has been done on the bonds between humans and animals that have characterized both festivals.
For example, the Brazilian documentary “Love on the Street” by Thiago Kesh captures the life of a homeless person in Porto Alegre, who takes care of dogs more often than he does. Faithful pets are also of concern to passers-by who often ignore the suffering of animal owners.
“People who love dogs only look right in front of humans,” Hotchner said. “I like more movies about it because I think it’s something we don’t want to see.”
“Comfort Dog” also shows the power of pet owners. Produced by Brooklyn-based and working Australian couples Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker, the film is an excerpt from their featured documentary, “We Don’t Worth Dogs.” This segment focuses on the Comfort Dog project, which provides pets to young people forced to become child soldiers during the Uganda civil war.
Mr. Surrey said on a party line that he could set the dog aside and the former soldiers could share a “quite disastrous” experience. “Dog is almost part of the storytelling method itself.”
Another documentary, Zach Putnam’s “Nikola,” is about how the yellow lab of Canine Companions, a service program for people with disabilities, has changed, not just the life of college students who received her. Is shown. She also trained her devotedly, but eventually gave her a strong lesson of trust and sacrifice to students who had to give up in tears.
But both festivals remind viewers that these animals need as many people as they need. Hotchner, who organizes the program as a labor of love ($ 20 for each ticket), always donates a portion of the proceeds of each screening to the relevant local charity. The New York Cat Festival will help support the Bideawee Stray Cat Initiative, but this year all dog festival shows will be on non-profit organizations related to the preservation of Senior Dog Week (October 25-31). Bring profits.
“Senior dogs are becoming more and more aware that adoption is fun and they can sleep the fastest in shelters,” said Hotchner. Gary Terralian’s “Legend of Comedy Shares Love for Old Dogs” features publicity announcements from celebrities such as Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, and Carl Reiner, who died last June. You can hear this message at. At 98.
The plight of non-adorable puppies has also surfaced in documentaries such as Claudio Abbado, Emarao, and Dylan Abbado’s “Unbroken: Freedom Riders.” Rhode Island. In another excerpt from “Not Worth a Dog,” Chino survives the aging subject, a street crowd in Santiago, Chile, simply because the inhabitants involved take care of it.
“The culture of wild dogs there is completely different,” Tucker said, adding that animals are a way to “bring together the entire community” and are also the goal of these festivals.
NY Cat Film Festival
October 16th at Village East by Angelica in Manhattan. catfilmfestival.com.
NY Dog Film Festival
October 24th at Village East by Angelica in Manhattan. dogfilmfestival.com.