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With independent movie theaters struggling around the country, and audiences clamoring for more content, a clever man decided to kill two birds with one cat.

Yes, beginning Friday is the Quarantine Cat Film Festival, a celebration of more than 130 short feline films combined into a 75-minute feature. Brian Mendelssohn, founder of Row House Cinema in Pittsburgh, devised the fest as a way to bolster the hard-hit theater business.

“Theaters shut down as a result of the pandemic, and we lost not just the financial capabilities to survive, but the engagement in the community that we had with our audience,” Mendelssohn tells The Post.

Thankfully, his wife figured out that desperate times call fur desperate measures.

“My wife was, like, ‘Just have everyone film their cats, and they can send them to you and you can make a movie,’ ” he says. “And I was, like, ‘OK. Sure, no problem.’ ”

Mendelssohn coordinated with about 50 indie theaters nationwide, who put out calls to loyal customers for original cat videos. The rules: The clips must be no more than 30 seconds, and please make sure your phone is horizontal when you film.

“I would say about half the people did that,” he says. “Which is good. Can’t complain.”

cat
Courtesy of the film

The prompt garnered more than 1,300 submissions. So, Mendelssohn, who owns two cats, assembled an expert crew of judges: himself, the movie-buff owner of the local cat cafe and the 10-year-old daughter of Mendelssohn’s general manager.

“She was the best judge of all,” he says, estimating that the group watched a combined 80 hours of short cat videos to arrive at the final product he edited.

“I’m at the point where I’m, like, getting to know the cats,” he says. “It’s kind of weird. That’s Fluffy!”

There are some New York kitties in the fest, too, such as Gumbo from Manhattan and Arlo and Lucky from Brooklyn. But there’s a particular A-whisker from Rochester named Loki, who Mendelssohn insists we’ll soon be speaking about in the same breath as Meryl.

“This cat is a great actor,” he says of Loki, who memorably attacks an ink-jet printer. “It has great timing, comedy, great action. I’ve probably watched that clip 30 or 40 times.”

Starting Friday, audiences will, too. About 100 theaters are screening it, for a price, through virtual cinema, while two reopened brick-and-mortar venues are showing the fest as well. Half of the ticket proceeds will go to the independent theaters, Mendelssohn says, adding that they’ve sold $5,000 worth in the past week alone.

“We’ve already recouped our costs for doing this production, so now everything from the release on is going to be profit for us and for the individual theaters,” he says.

What about for audience members who prefer a canine classic to a feline feature?

“I have a dog, too,” Mendelssohn says. “He’s groaning right next to me. He knows I’m talking about this.”

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