From a Cat?s Eye View

An innovative new film reveals the secret lives of cats from the feline perspective.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to see through a cat’s eyes, you can get a better idea by watching “Cat Diaries: The First Ever Movie Filmed by Cats,” which Friskies premiered at The Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. This documentary-style cat video footage of daily life as a cat was captured by high-definition cameras worn on the cats’ collars. Framed by whiskers and the occasional chin, you can imagine what it’s like to see through cats’ eyes as they run, pounce, play, gaze out of a window, eat a bug, lap water and more.

Dubbed “repurrters” by the humans who worked on the film, the 10 cats, spanning from 1 to 17 years of age, hailed from apartments and homes across the United States. Los Angeles based Producer/Director Erik Denno and Editor/Director Jason Farrell consolidated 15 to 20 hours of footage into the four-minute film, which paints a visual story. An original musical score, composed by Bryan Lee Brown and Paul Figueroa, adds drama to the cats’ actions.

“Friskies wanted to share the magical world of cats in an entirely new way,” said Daniel Henke-Cilenti, senior brand manager of Friskies. “We want the whole world to see and enjoy cats’ unique personalities and perspectives. To give cats the spotlight they deserve, we made them the stars of their own film and celebrated in true Hollywood fashion.”

CAT FANCY Columnist Sandy Robins participated in the project and wrote about the experience for the March 2011 issue of CAT FANCY (on newsstands Feb. 1). Her cat Fudge was one of the cat repurrters. “If you really want to know exactly how untidy your home actually is, view it from a cat’s perspective,” she wrote in the article. “Suddenly, shoes kicked off at the end of a long day or a suitcase not yet packed away after a trip loom large. Tiny marks on tiled floors look like saucers.” Realizing that her cats see a lot of hands and feet, she prepared by getting a manicure and pedicure.

“It was really interesting for us when going through the footage and seeing both the similarities and differences in the way that the cats moved, saw the world, where they spent their time, and how they reacted to various situations,” Denno said. “From almost the beginning we realized the power in sharing the footage we were capturing with the owners. The universal story is powerful and insightful, but when owners would see footage of their own cats in particular, they saw their cat’s life and the relationship they held in a whole new way. The house they lived in was no longer something that was solely theirs; it was something that their cats shared with them. The owners felt a sense of bond and responsibility at the same time (beyond what they previously had). They realized that the environment that they lived in was being experienced by another animal, that felt ownership, from an entirely different perspective 24 hours a day.”

A shorter version of the film will be screened at select theaters Dec. 10-23 in the following 10 markets: Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Brentwood, Calif.; Center Valley, Pa..; Conroe, Texas; Conyers, Ga.; Holtsville, N.Y.; Orland Park, Ill.; Randolph, Mass.; Silver Spring, Md.; and St. Louis.

To view the film click here.

For an exclusive interview with Fudge Sandler, one of the cat repurrters, click here.

For a red-carpet interview with Fudge Sandler’s proud parents, Sandy Robins and Michael Sandler, click here.

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