Movie star dog has its day at Cannes

Fri May 23, 2014 12:37pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

CANNES France (Reuters) - A gentle Labrador mix named Body won the "Palm Dog" award on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, a pat on the head from canine-lovers and film critics for the outstanding movie performance by a pooch.

Body starred in "Feher Isten" (White God) by Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo, which features more than 250 dogs.

The lead character is "Hagen" - a role shared by Body and a second hound named Luc - who is abandoned by his family and picked up by a man who trains him to be fighting dog.

At the film's festival premiere earlier in the festival, Body attended a photocall, walked the red carpet and was invited onstage - wearing a bowtie.

The Palm Dog award is a play on the Palme d'Or, the Cannes festival's top prize.

"What an honor, what a historical hound!" said Palm Dog organizer Toby Rose, who called the film a cross between "Inglorious Barksterds" and "Ben Fur."

It had been a golden year for dogs on film, Rose said.

"This Cannes has seen a raging outbreak of dog-risma," Rose said, citing Jean-Luc Godard's real-life dog, Roxy Mieville, who stars in his film "Adieu au Langage" (Goodbye to Language) and Yves Saint Laurent's French Bulldog Moujik in "Saint Laurent" by director Bertrand Bonello.   Continued...

Director Kornel Mundruczo (C) poses next to Cannes popular figure Emogin Diamonds (L) and her dog James Blond, during the Palm Dog awards ceremony at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 23, 2014.    REUTERS/Yves Herman