Fans Lap Up 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival

And this awards ceremony included a red carpet as well. Cameras flashed as the Internet's hottest feline sensations took to the stage. Online mega-star Lil Bub was brought out to meet Grumpy Cat (whose off-screen name is really “Tardar Sauce”). The cats were joined by the humans behind their videos, many of whom have achieved commercial success — and, in some cases, celebrity status of their own.

Will Braden, creator of “Henri 2, Paw de Deux” and winner of last year’s Golden Kitty Award, has quit his day job as a videographer and now spends his time doing interviews, managing Henri’s website (which includes a store with Henri-branded items), and weighing commercial appearance requests for Henri. Braden is also busy dreaming up new videos and posting Henri’s daily musings on Facebook and Twitter.

Other video makers from last year have gone so far as to hire agents and attorneys, and three of them, including Braden, have recently published books featuring their camera-loving cats.

And the Winner Is…

In the spirit of community, the festival’s highest honor, the Golden Kitty Award, was chosen by online voting and input from the museum staff. This year’s winner was “The Original Grumpy Cat,” featuring — of course — Grumpy Cat. The seven winners of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award, selected by a team of journalists, cat culture bloggers and curators, took home a silver statuette designed to look like the new cat-shaped Monopoly piece designed by Hasbro.

The cat antics continued after the screenings ended on Wednesday night, with an after-party at the local Kitty Cat Club, complete with DJs spinning cat-themed recordings and live music from the band Kitten Forever, followed by book signings and a discussion group with last year’s video artists on Thursday.

If you couldn’t make it to Minnesota to cat about in costume, you may still have an opportunity to join in the fun. The festival plans to take the show on the road to Memphis, Oakland and Austin’s SXSW music festival, for starters. And who knows, maybe your own feline has a talent just waiting to be discovered?

Want to scope out the competition? Check out this YouTube selection of 2013 Cat Film Festival entries!

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