Hot Docs 2024: Qs à la mode with… Todd Beiber (American Cats: The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly)

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Director Todd Beiber examines humans’ relationships with their feline friends, and the movement to ban the practice of declawing, in American Cats: The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly. We posed our Qs à la mode to Todd, and here’s what he shared!


If I had to describe my film using only three adjectives, they would be: Good, bad, cuddly. 

I decided to make this film because: I love cats.

The thing that surprised me most about my film’s subject/topic was: I was surprised by the extent to which kittens are impacted by late stage capitalism.

My favorite moment/scene/sequence in my film is: My favorite moment had to be watching a cat that looks astonishingly like Adam Driver get a glitter gold manicure. 

The most challenging part of making my film was: It was nearly impossible to get cats to do the activities we needed for b-roll. See below for solution. 

My most invaluable piece of doc-making gear was/is: I don’t think this will apply to any other documentary, but not a day went by when I didn’t use a laser pointer to get a cat to look where I wanted them to. 

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice I’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: Spend as much time on pre-production as you do in production and post. 


Want to check out Todd’s film, or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!


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