American director Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) has been receiving widespread acclaim for its depiction of a dysfunctional family. The movie has something else to be proud of. Bruno, the pet poodle belonging to the characters played by Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, is the 2017 winner of the annual Palm Dog award.
A play on the main Palme d’Or prize, the Palm Dog award consists of a citation and a leather collar for the lucky canine. One of the most lightweight – and pun-friendly – sidebar events at the Cannes Film festival, the award was set up in 2001 by Toby Rose for the “best performance by a canine (live or animated) or group of canines”.
The Grand Jury prize went to the German shepherd Lupo from Lea Mysius’s Ava. The Dogmanitarian Award, which marks the mutually enriching bonds between humans and canines, went to Lesley Caron, the owner of the 17-year-old Shih Tzu named Tchi Tchi.
“Dogs deserve their place on the awards circuit, and I am truly proud to share this award with Tchi Tchi,” Caron declared.
Security was increased at the Cannes Film festival this year after the recent terror attacks in France. Three security dogs were given special jury prizes on behalf of all sniffer dogs for their help in saving lives. “This award salutes all the dogs around the world who are involved in the fight against terrorism,” said British film critic Kate Muir, who is a Palm Dog jury member.
The award’s first winner was Otis from The Anniversary in 2001. Other winners have included Mops from Marie Antoinette (2006), Yuki from Persepolis (2007), the black poodle in Inglorious Basterds (2009), and the golden retriever Dug from Pixar’s Up (2009).
In 2016, the Palm Dog award was awarded posthumously for the first time to the bulldog Nellie from Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (2016).