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Far from Sundance, Grumpy Cat brings Internet Cat Video Fest to L.A.

If you missed out on going to the Sundance Film Festival this year, maybe Grumpy Cat can help. The online female feline phenom will appear Saturday in "furr-son," as the hype goes, at the L.A. stop of the Internet Cat Video Festival's world tour.

You heard right. No indie film debuts or buzz about "Mad Men" actress Elisabeth Moss, this festival is all feline all the time. Along with Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce), the fest features 85 pieces of cat-centric heaven, from seconds-long Vine videos to short films. The festival comes to Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon and is restricted to humans only, no Fluffies allowed.

"Catvidfest is a live event, gathering fellow feline fanatics to watch a curated collection of cat clips in the social environment," the festival's website says.

It all began at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2012 when the offbeat fest drew more than 10,000 attendees, prompting organizers to take it on the road. You can see these videos online, but there's something about an in-person kitty klatch that has made the event a real success.

"It's not about watching cat videos," Issabella Shields of the Great Wall of Oakland, which hosted the festival last May, told KQED radio station. "It's about watching cat videos together. It's all about the community." And, come to think of it, that's what Sundance is about too.

In addition to the 75-minute compilation film, the festival will host a cat-themed costume contest, cat product vendors, and reps from local shelters and humane societies. The festival starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Echoplex, 1822 W. Sunset Blvd.; (213) 413-8200. Tickets cost $14 to $16. There's also a showing of the video reel at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Federal Bar LB, 102 Pine Ave., Long Beach, for $20 per person.

Sullen-faced Grumpy Cat last month joined other Internet kitties -- Oskar the Blind Cat and Colonel Meow -- to make a music video produced by cat-food maker Friskies called "Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas." The half-million clicks the video received translated into a huge donation of cat food to cat charity organizations.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
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