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culture

Scene: Red Carpet Cats

The Just for Cats: Internet Cat Video Festival brings us the red carpet event we've all been waiting for.

9-20140417-Cats at TIFF-309-224

WHERE: Atrium of TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West

WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 6:15 p.m.

WHAT: The Toronto debut of Just for Cats: Internet Cat Video Festival. If you are not already familiar with Lil Bub, and Grumpy Cat, and the late and lamented Colonel Meow, then you are missing out on a furry and adorable corner of the internet—one that has apparently become so critically respected and/or impossible to ignore that it now has its own festival at TIFF. “Just for Cats,” TIFF writes, obviously shamelessly recycling the same copy used for its Pier Paolo Pasolini retrospective, “offers audiences a unique and fun opportunity to join fellow cat lovers in LOLing, crying, and aww-ing their way through old and new favourites.”

Before the screening began, well-behaved, adorable, and probably somewhat confused felines participated in a red carpet cat adopt-a-thon, hosted by the Toronto Humane Society. No word yet on whether this time spent before the paparazzi has led to any forever homes.

Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, introduced the 7:30 p.m. screening. Her participation in the event resulted in controversy: activist Hailey King interrupted Harper’s introductory remarks to demand that the federal government take action on the crisis facing aboriginal women. In a press release, King wrote, “We should all be horrified by this epidemic of racist sexual violence. The United Nations, Canada’s own premiers and people across the country are demanding more action on the issue. Yet this government is failing to act.”

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