The finalists’ videos ranged from simple stories of cats’ playtime antics to complex stories about cats’ creative imaginations, but in the end, “The Friskies” $15,000 Grand Prize for “Best Video” went to a story about a very happy blind cat, who enthusiastically uses his senses of hearing and touch to play like every cat.
The winners were announced and the Catuettes and prizes were awarded at a one-of-a-kind awards show in Hollywood yesterday by Friskies® to celebrate the art form of Internet cat videos and the best new cat videos of 2012. After months of searching and thousands of votes and views, Friskies named “Oskar’s First Toys” starring Oskar of Omaha, Neb., the first-ever winner of “The Friskies.” The Grand Prize winnings include an official Friskies Catuette, a $15,000 cash prize, and a year’s supply of Friskies® brand cat food.
“Oskar is completely blind, but he doesn’t let that slow him down one bit,” said video director Mick Szydlowski. “He’s healthy, he’s happy, he does everything a regular cat would do.”
The four category winners won $2,500 each and a one-year supply of Friskies cat food:
- Catness: “Black Cat Stick ‘em Up” starring Cole; Tampa, Fla.
- Catcom: “Cat Alarm Clock” starring Boo; Elkhart, Ind.
- Catventure: “Cardboard Dreams” starring Milo, Otis, Barrett and Bates; Plano, Texas
- Catchall: “Kitty Plays Fetch” starring Nylah; Cherry Hill, N.J.
The first-ever “The Friskies” awards show was like the Oscars® for cat videos. The show was streamed live from Los Angeles on TheFriskies.com and The Pet Collective. While major awards and gold-plated trophies were presented and accepted, the similarities to major film, TV and music award shows ended there. Guests donned their “Friskies formal” wear, sampled cat-themed cupcakes, received gift bags for their cats, and enjoyed an amazing array of cat-themed entertainment during the show.
YouTube show host Michael Buckley acted as master of ceremonies and presented the awards, including a special Lifetime Achievement award to Will Braden, creator of Henri, Le Chat Noir, for his enduring contributions to the art form. Other highlights included a meow-ing a cappella singing group performing familiar favorites, and a dance tribute to popular Internet meme Nyan cat. Other special guests included TV personality and musician John Fulton and YouTube personality Cara Hartmann; contest judges Wayne White and Karen Nichols; and representatives from two of the participating 25 cat charity organizations that will receive donations of Friskies cat food as part of the Contest.
“This was an historic moment honoring the cats and people behind one of America’s most loved art forms,” said Shaun Belongie, Friskies® brand manager. “‘The Friskies’ awards show was memorable, quirky and fun, just like the finalists’ videos themselves.”
In addition to voting for their favorites to win “The Friskies,” online viewers made it possible for Friskies to donate a grand total of 250,000 cans of cat food to cat rescue organizations nationwide. Based on numbers of entries, views and votes, 25 cat charity organizations will each receive 10,000 cans of Friskies cat food this year.
Visit www.TheFriskies.com to view the winning videos, and learn more about the judges and the 25 cat rescue organizations involved in “The Friskies.”