Brit Terriers Take Cannes Top Dog Award
CANNES - Terriers Banjo and Poppy -- one of whom plunges to its death onto a knot of knitting needles -- on Friday jointly took Cannes' unofficial Palm Dog award for celluloid canine talent.
The pair, whose real names are Smurf and Ged and who feature in British black comedy "Sightseers", are building on a terrier tradition that began last year with Dog triumph for one of their breed who later went on to Oscar glory.
The hounds were unable to attend the prize-giving ceremony but the trophy -- a diamante collar with the words Palm Dog stitched into it -- was presented to members of the "Sightseers" crew at a high-kitsch beachfront ceremony.
Billy Bob, a punk Jack Russell in French-Belgian film "Le Grand Soir", took the canine Grand Jury Prize.
This year's competition was a little darker than usual as three contenders -- the dogs from Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom", Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt" and Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers" -- were killed off.
"This year the theme for dogs is RIP -- Rover in Peace -- as hounds continue a tradition of making the ultimate sacrifice for their art," said Toby Rose, the organiser of the annual event.
The wily terrier Uggy took the prize in 2011 with a stunning silent film performance in Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist", which went on to scoop five Oscars.
Rose enlists the help of a panel of British film critics every year to pick the best performance by a dog in films premiered at Cannes.
He created the award in 2001 in honour of his own dog Mutley, now deceased, and also does his bit for dogs in Britain where he runs the Fido awards at the London Film Festival.
The Palme d'Or top prize for one of the 22 films in the official competition is due to be announced on Sunday.