Who’s a good boy? Cannes Palm Dog awards are today

The awards recognise the achievements of dogs within the movie industry and beyond

The human stories at the Cannes Film Festival receive huge amounts of attention, but today (Friday May 18) sees the 17th annual Palm Dog awards take place, in recognition of the best dog performer in a film.

The “Palm Dog awards”, a play on words of the prestigious “Palme d’Or” film awards, were created in 2001 by British journalist Toby Rose - who was inspired by his own fox terrier, Mutley - and seeks to recognise and celebrate the performance of dogs in high-end films - and beyond.

Rather than a trophy, the winning dogs are given a leather collar with the words “Palm Dog” attached in metal.

This year’s overall winner is the canine cast of Dogman, Matteo Garrone’s film about a gritty poodle parlour owner in the criminal underworld of Naples, Italy.

Another big winner this year was Patrick - the pet pug of writer Vanessa Davies, who wrote this year’s forthcoming Disney movie, also called Patrick - who picked up the “Dogmanitarian Award”.

Mr Rose said: “It’s a wonderful real life story and a worthy winner of the Palm Dogmanitarian Award, which celebrates the bond between canines and humans.”

The winning dog is given a leather collar with the words “Palm Dog” attached in metal (Palmdog.com)

The awards have previously recognised canine stars such as Uggie, who played Jack the Dog in the 2011 black-and-white, Oscar-winning film The Artist (below); and Mops, the pug who played the constant companion of Marie-Antoinette, in the 2006 Sofia Coppola film of the same name.

 

Other notable recipients include Yuki, from the 2007 film Persepolis; and last year’s winner was Einstein, the white poodle who played Bruno the dog in the 2017 The Meyerowitz Stories, by Noah Baumbach.

Away from cinema, the awards also reward non-star dogs for exceptional achievements. This year, three security sniffer dogs who help fight crime were recognised for their crime-fighting skills.

A special mention was also given to Diesel, a seven-year-old Belgian Shepherd who died following a counter-terrorism raid after the Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris.

The nominated dogs are all invited to attend the ceremony, which this year is taking place on the beach of the Grand Hôtel de Cannes.

Yet, Barbara Dent, co-organiser and former film manager of the British Council in France, admitted: “When the dogs are not able to attend the ceremony, we [sometimes] bring in stunt doubles.”

Founder Mr Rose said: “We are simple looking for the Isabelle Huppert or the Gérard Depardieu of dogs.”

The Palm Dog awards seek to recognise canine contributions (Palmdog.com)

The judging panel this year included Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian newspaper; Kaleem Aftab of The Independent newspaper; Charles Gant, of magazine Screen International/Heat; Kate Muir, of The Times newspaper; Anna Smith of Elle Magazine and the Metro newspaper; and Damon Wise of Empire magazine.

Mr Rose’s own pet is reportedly very unfazed by the celebrities that his owner interviews, which has included Steven Spielberg, Tilda Swinton or even Ivanka Trump.

The journalist joked: “I noticed that he was very comfortable and calm when he came with me on interviews. He has even been known to do a ‘catwalk’ with Ivanka Trump, wearing a little dog coat that matched her dress.”

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