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The Cat Rescuers

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Steven Lawrence & Rob Fruchtman, Directors

2018 Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Awards at Hamptons International Film Festival

An estimated 500,000 feral and abandoned cats prowl the streets of New York City. They survive through the kindness of well-intentioned cat lovers who feed them, but they continue to multiply. Because the City can't handle this problem, hundreds of dedicated, spirited, volunteer rescuers have come to their aid. This film focuses on four animal rescue activists in Brooklyn - Sassee, Claire, Stu, and Tara, who help to save the lives of feral felines and find new homes for abandoned pets.. Combing the borough’s alleys, backyards, and housing projects, they trap the cats, get them fixed, and either adopt or returned them to their colonies. The Cat Rescuers show the skill, resilience, and humor they bring to this challenging but rewarding work, and how their mission to reduce animal suffering, often at great sacrifice to themselves, has changed their lives.

Released in 2018

Running time: 87 minutes

FHFF Film Category: Tales from the Heart


Saturday, October 22 - 4:00 PM

Sunday, October 23 - 4:00 PM


Directors Steven Lawrence & Rob Fruchtman will join us on Saturday via live stream on the big screen directly following the Saturday screening for a Q&A. A recording of the in-theatre Q&A will be available on demand from October 24-30 during the online portion of the festival. There will not be a Q&A after the Sunday screening.

ONLINE SCREENINGS: On-Demand October 24 - 30 on with a recorded Q&A from the in-theatre screening.

photo: a still from THE CAT RESCUERS


From left: Directors Steven Lawrence & Rob Fruchtman

Rob Fruchtman

Rob Fruchtman is a director, producer, and editor of documentaries and television programs. He won the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Director award for SISTER HELEN, which aired on HBO. He has won three Emmys for his work with PBS. SWEET DREAMS focuses on a remarkable group of Rwandan women as they emerged from the devastation of genocide and created a new future for themselves by opening their country’s first ice cream parlor. His most recent film, MOVING STORIES, follows six dancers from NYC’s Battery Dance Company as they travel across the world teaching some of the most vulnerable youth about expressing themselves through movement.

Steven Lawrence

Steven Lawrence is a producer-director whose documentaries have appeared on PBS, MTV and A&E. He’s produced three films for director Michael Apted, including MARRIED IN AMERICA, an ongoing doc about 9 marriages. His other productions, which have often focused on the arts and human rights, include THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RHYMES, a global look at hip-hop as protest music, and SARABAH, about Senegalese rapper Sister Fa’s campaign to end female genital cutting. Currently, Steven is finishing MISSING MICROBES, a feature doc about the importance of the human microbiome, co-directed with Sarah Schenck. His work has received an IDA Documentary Achievement award, 3 Cine Golden Eagles, the Special Jury Award from the Locarno Film Festival and the Golden Butterfly from Movies That Matter.


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