The doggy star of Hungarian film Fehér isten has won this year’s prestigious Palm Dog Award.
Body, a Golden Labrador, played the lead in the horror-thriller that in English is titled ‘White God’. The film is about a canine apocalypse and features around 250 dogs.
Body played the lead alongside his twin brother Luc. Together they played Hagen, a dog with a gentle nature that ends up living on the street. After being mistreated he eventually turns into a shadow of himself, becoming a tough and aggressive fighting dog.
Earlier in the festival, Body attended a red carpet premiere for the film’s showing, which was directed by Kornel Mundruczo. He even got to get up on the stage wearing a bowtie.
Toby Rose, the Palm Dog organiser, said of the star Labrador:
“What an honour, what a historical hound!”
Mundruczo commented he that enjoyed working with the dogs, even though it was challenging. The 250 hounds had to be socialised for six months before filming to ensure that they made a convincing pack. A team of dog trainers worked on the film to maintain control and ensure that everything went smoothly.
This year’s Palm Dog was closely contested, with pooches from several other big films competing for the award. Other contenders were the French Bulldog Moujik, who appeared in the film Saint Laurent, and Roxy Mieville from the French film Adieu au Langage.
The majority of the dogs in White God were rescue dogs from shelters. After filming, they were all adopted by members of the cast, crew, and their friends and family.