Kodi Wins Palm Dog: Cannes Celebrates Canine Star Power

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Kodi, a Griffon cross, wins the Palm Dog at Cannes Film Festival for his performance in 'The Trial of the Dog.' Discover how this former street dog became a star.

Kodi, a Griffon cross dog who starred in “The Trial of the Dog” by Franco-Swiss director Lætitia Dosch, has been awarded the Palm Dog at the Cannes Film Festival. This unique prize honors the canine with the most memorable performance in films showcased during the festival.

Kodi, who is nine years old, follows in the paw-steps of Messi, a Border Collie who captivated audiences in “Anatomy of a Fall,” which won the Palme d’Or last year. Unlike Kodi, “The Trial of the Dog” is featured in the Un Certain Regard section, meaning it might not achieve the same acclaim.

Lætitia Dosch expressed her admiration for Kodi, noting, “I fell in love with Kodi, the Palm Dog, for me it's great, it allows us to consider dogs as actors. Kodi is also credited as an actor and appears on the film's poster.”

Kodi has an incredible story, transforming from a former street dog in Narbonne to a star of the silver screen. Juliette Roux-Merveille, a coach at a show animal company based in Vendée, confirmed that Kodi’s role involved performing as many as 80 to 100 different actions. Remarkably, Kodi had to learn how to howl by mimicking the meow of a hungry kitten and perfect a bark that showed his fangs.

The competition was tough this year, with the jury's grand prize going to another contender, Xin, a Jack Russell crossed with Black Dog who starred in a Chinese film. The stray dog was adopted by the lead actor Eddie Peng at the end of filming, lending a heartwarming touch to the story.

The Palm Dog, a kitsch prize that has morphed into a significant event, especially after Messi’s win, emphasizes the importance of animal welfare. Anthony Pruvost, founder of Woopets, stated that they are diligent in checking the filming conditions to ensure the well-being of the dogs.

The 23-year-old Palm Dog prize was initiated by British film critic Toby Rose and continues to grow in popularity and media coverage. This year’s jury featured renowned film critics from the UK, Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian and Tim Robey from The Telegraph.

Previously, the Palm Dog has garnered significant attention, such as in 2019 when Quentin Tarantino attended to celebrate Pitbull Brandy, Brad Pitt's canine co-star in 'Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood,' winning the award.

  • Messi, last year’s Palm Dog winner, has reached stardom, even attending red carpet events at Cannes. This year, Messi returned to the Cannes red carpet and participated in various activities, including taking viral selfies with celebrities like Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Billie Eilish.
  • The Palm Dog prize started gaining international recognition, highlighted by a TV feature titled 'Woof! Messi at the Cannes Film Festival,' which aired on multiple major channels and shared on social media.
  • In 2020, despite the festival’s cancellation due to the Covid crisis, the Palm Dog managed to sustain its presence by awarding a special title to Uggie, the Jack Russell from 'The Artist,' as the best canine performer of the last twenty years.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Le Figaro | Le Parisien |



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