Celebrate furry, 4-legged friends at Dog Fest, Cat Fest at the Chief in Steamboat

The Chief Theater is to present two nights of four-legged film festivals on Tuesday and Wednesday.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There are two kinds of people in the world — dog people and cat people — and this week, they’ll each have a space to celebrate their favorite furry friends.   

The Chief Theater presents two nights of four-legged film festivals: the New York Dog Film Festival on Tuesday, June 25, and the New York Cat Film Festival on Wednesday, June 26. The Chief opens its door and bar at 6 p.m., and the films begin at 7 p.m.

The films include documentaries and animated pieces, celebrating the love of dogs and their humans across the world.

After hearing about a wildly successful Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis, Tracie Hotchner founded the Dog Film Festival in 2015 for dog lovers to come together and celebrate dogs. Following in its paw prints, she launched the Cat Film Festival in 2017. After a premier in New York City, each festival visits more than 40 cities on a national tour.

Hotchner is the author of “The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know” and “The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.” She’s the producer and host of the Peconic Public Broadcasting radio show “Dog Talk (And Kitties Too!).” She’s also the founder and co-host of Radio Pet Lady Network, which brings in top pet experts and veterinarians to discuss ways to support pet wellness.

Each film festival supports the species it’s about, donating a portion of each ticket to a local animal welfare group.

New York Dog Film Festival 2019 films
  • “Unexpected,” a two-minute animated tale with an unexpected ending;
  • “Sh*t Happens,” a two-minute mime demonstration of the aftermath of not cleaning up after a dog;
  • “Esther: Saving Castaways,” a six-minute documentary illustrating a program in which unwanted dogs are trained by prison inmates;
  • “Elvis: The Lonely Hunter of Circle Beach,” a five-minute story of a tough little dog named Elvis on his quest to find a buried bagel in a Long Island beach;
  • “Dog Power,” a 25-minute documentary about canine and human athletes competing together in international outdoor sports competitions;
  • “I Rescue Senior Dogs,” a five-minute documentary about a San Francisco-based senior dog rescue program;
  • “About a Dog,” a 16-minute story of a reluctant dog foster mom who’s brought out of her shell;
  • “It’s a Potcake Life,” a half-hour documentary of indigenous stray dogs of the Bahamas and a team of rescuers;
  • “A Dog’s Life,” an eight-minute animation of an ordinary day for a dog;
  • “Well Groomed,” an eight-minute documentary about competitive creative dog grooming;
  • “Imperfect Adventure,” a five-minute story of a woman’s motorcycle trip across North America, with her dog as her copilot in her sidecar; and
  • “Ooh La La,” a one-minute animation inspired by the French Poodle.

Humans who enjoy both cats and dogs will be rewarded with savings on their tickets to both festivals; it’s $25 to purchase a ticket to both evenings at the Chief.

New York Cat Film Festival 2019 films
  • “The Pet Effect,” a two-minute peek into the idea of being prescribed a cat;
  • “Little Works of Art,” a 13-minute peek into North Carolina’s American Museum of the House Cat, featuring more than 10,000 cat-related objects;
  • “Art’s Automotive,” a six-minute tale of an orphaned kitten that bonds with an automotive repair robot;
  • “Akamatsu the Cat,” a 10-minute documentary about a cat that uses a wheelchair to live a full, vibrant life;
  • “Pure Fluff,” a four-minute documentary about a professional cat groomer;
  • “Winter Break,” a five-minute story of a cat keeping its school-teacher human company during winter break;
  • “Guardians of Recoleta,” 21 minutes about a community of cats living in the Buenos Aires Recoleta cemetery, and the effects of American rescuers removing some of the cats;
  • “Scaredy, the Cat,” an eight-minute documentary about a shy cat’s adoption;
  • “Marnie: The Cat Guru,” a two-minute depiction of a tabby cat’s philosophy of the meaning of life;
  • “Cat Nation: A Film About Japan’s Crazy Cat Culture,” a 26-minute documentary;
  • “Instagram Cat Mom,” a five-minute mockumentary about setting up photo opportunities;
  • “Samantha and the Rock Cats,” an 11-minute documentary about a traveling cat show;
  • “Mittens from Kittens,” a four-minute documentary about spinning and knitting cat hair; and
  • “Beth is Not a Cat,” a three-minute story of a tabby cat’s confusion at a cat look-alike.

The programs are designed for adult audiences but can be enjoyed by all human members of the family — no pets allowed.

“These films are free of physical or verbal abuse toward people or animals. The only tears you might shed would be tears of joy for happy endings,” the Dog Fest website said.

If you go

What: The New York Dog Film Festival
When: Doors/bar open at 6 p.m.; films start at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15 at or at All That

What: The New York Cat Festival
When: Doors/bar open at 6 p.m.; films start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15 at or at All That

The New York Dog Film Festival 2019 shows at the Chief Theater on Tuesday, June 25. View the festival trailer above.
The New York Cat Film Festival 2019 shows at the Chief Theater on Wednesday, June 26. View the festival trailer above.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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