OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cats have done it again... clawing their way from the wildly popular internet meme to the prestige of the silver screen, this time commanding critical acclaim for their original, scripted independent feline flicks in 3D. Gilles Marini, recently featured in People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue holding his adorable cat Penelope, is teaming up with Fresh Step® litter to host the second annual Catdance Film Festival* on Jan. 18 in the famed Park City, Utah at the heart of the independent film scene.
Fresh Step litter and its Feline Arts Council have picked five, cat-inspired films from a nationwide search of original, scripted cat-inspired shorts, each of which will be introduced by Marini and exclusively screened in 3D at the Catdance Film Festival. After the screening, America will have the chance to vote for their favorite feline film at www.freshstep.com/catdance, with the grand prize winner receiving $50,000 and a "golden" litter scoop award.
"Our furry friend Penelope provides endless entertainment at home, it's no wonder cats are a muse for the big screen," said Marini. "I'm excited to celebrate with these fantastic filmmakers as they debut their fresh films at the Catdance Film Festival in Park City this weekend."
The finalist films span the spectrum of genres, including a drama where a cat plots to outsmart his family in "The Clever Cat," a detective story in "who done it" noir style in "Dirty Paws: A Feline Noir," a music video about a feline fantasy world in "Dreams are Real," a comedy about a couple who inherits a cat from a deceased relative with persnickety stipulations in "The Inheritance," and "Ricky" a biography about a shelter kitten adjusting to a new family, including a dog.
"The Catdance Film Festival is special because we are showcasing original, scripted short films," said Smita Peri, brand manager for Fresh Step litter. "These aren't your typical home cat videos, they are independent films by talented storytellers that were inspired by the smart and quirky nature of cats."
Rocking Kitty Couture for a Cause
In addition to unveiling the finalist films, Marini will debut the latest in feline fashion to benefit the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). Striking a pose on the catwalk, Marini will be wearing a limited-edition Catdance Film Festival T-shirt. The soft vintage scoop neck tee features a cool cat sporting 3D shades. It's heather gray and available in men's and women's sizes. The official Catdance Film Festival tee is available for purchase at www.aspcaonlinestore.com for $19.99 while supplies last, and 100 percent of the purchase price will benefit the ASPCA®.
The Rest is in Your Paw
When the curtain goes down on Catdance, the festival will just be starting. While the critically acclaimed cat shorts screened at Catdance will each have their moment at the festival, the fans at home ultimately decide which filmmaker will receive a $50,000 cash prize and the coveted golden litter scoop. To screen all of the Catdance finalists and cast a ballot for the viewer's choice award, visit www.freshstep.com/catdance from Jan. 18 through Feb. 28, 2014. All voters will have a chance to win great prizes, including the limited-edition T-shirt, Fresh Step coupons and products from Fresh Step's Feline Arts Council. Other Catdance Honorable Mention films will also be available on the site for viewer cat-ertainment.
Fresh Step's Feline Arts Council Fosters Feline Arts
Established to promote the "paws-itive" representations of cats and cat ownership in mainstream culture, the Feline Arts Council served as jury for the 2014 Catdance Film Festival and also bestowed its seal on America's top cat-inspired products. The Council is comprised of some of the utmost authorities on cat culture and boasts the brain trust of Erica Domesek, founder of the DIY lifestyle brand P.S. – I made this…(PSImadeThis.com); Eileen Hanavan, cat expert for the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®); Katherine Dore, Sundance Channel's executive producer of branded content; famed and adored Luna the Fashion Kitty; and Smita Peri of Fresh Step. For more information about the Fresh Step Feline Arts Council visit www.freshstep.com/promotions/feline-arts-council-2013
The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with approximately 8,400 employees and fiscal year 2013 revenues of $5.6 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Clorox Healthcare™, HealthLink®, Aplicare® and Dispatch® products, Green Works® naturally derived products, Pine-Sol® cleaners, Poett® home care products, Fresh Step® cat litter, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and KC Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration products, and Burt's Bees® and gud® natural personal care products. Nearly 90 percent of the company's brands hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories. Clorox's commitment to corporate responsibility includes making a positive difference in its communities. In fiscal year 2013, The Clorox Company Foundation awarded $4 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at nearly $15 million. For more information, visit TheCloroxCompany.com.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
*Fresh Step litter is hosting the screening and using the Catdance Film Festival name with permission, but is not an official sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival
SOURCE Fresh Step litter