Calgary

KittenTV hoping to sink claws into bigger market

"No dialogue, no actors — just kittens." That's the line Edmonton's Frederick Kroetsch will be using in Banff this week when he pitches his all-feline show at the World Media Festival.

Alberta filmmaker pitches all-cat channel at Banff World Media Festival

Frederick Kroetsch, one of the creators behind KittenTV, says it's like the fire log channel, but cuter. (Open Sky Pictures)

"No dialogue, no actors — just kittens."

That's the pitch that the Alberta creators of KittenTV will be using when they rubs shoulders with producers and executives at the Banff World Media Festival this week.

The first season of the show — called 'Kitten Town' — is available right now on demand through Telus Optik television. Each episode features a one-hour segment of kittens playing, meowing and generally looking adorable. 

"It's purrfect," said Frederick Kroetsch, one of the Edmonton-based filmmakers.

"It turns out that parents love to watch this because they turn it on for their kids. So, our demographic is moms with kids." 

Kroetsch used to be a TV journalist and says the skills he learned through that job "perfectly linked themselves to cats."

"As a video journalist I pointed a camera at things. And kittens are things."   

Kroetsch says the idea for KittenTV came from the "slow television" movement in Europe, where broadcasters have entire channels dedicated to fjords, ferries and trains.

"What's the most interesting thing on Youtube? Kitten videos," he said.

Kroetsch said his production company, Open Sky Pictures, has already pitched KittenTV in North America and Europe, but no one has really sunk their claws into yet.

"At the end of the day, everyone just said it was too weird," he said. "It's very, very niche."

He says all the cats used to film the first season were from the Morinville Veterinary Clinic, north of Edmonton. Kroetsch says they were all up for adoption and thanks to KittenTV, they all found homes. 

"So the idea is they become television stars, and then they get adopted."

The Banff World Media Festival runs June 7 to 10 at the Banff Centre.

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