The 2021 Palm Dog, the award that honors canine actors in this year’s crop of Cannes films, went to Tilda Swinton’s own spaniels, who co-star with her in Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir Part II.”
Swinton was on hand to accept the award in person on July 17 with one of her dogs, but she decided to wear the honorary Palm Dog collar herself.
Palm Dog founder Toby Rose said, “Having Tilda and Sean present for our 20th anniversary of the Palm Dog Awards is the best birthday present. In ‘The Souvenir Part II’, the dogs were very much part of the family, in every sense of the word, since they’re Tilda’s very own pooches. A wonderful personal touch.”
Also taking home a Palm Dog collar, indie director Sean Baker for the pit bull in “Red Rocket,” which stars Simon Rex.
Baker accepted the award with his own dogs, Bunsen and Boonee, the latter of which co-starred in his film “Starlet” with Dree Hemingway.
Winner Sophie was not present, but is poised for stardom. As Baker told Deadline, “This is the beginning of an incredible career for Sophie. She’s now living in L.A. and has an agent. She really wouldn’t be alive today if she hadn’’ been rescued—she had heartworm and the vet gave her a few weeks to live. She is the sweetest pit bull ever.”
Added Rose, “In ‘Red Rocket, ‘Sophie was a lost and found with a very sad story made good. It doesn’t get better than that.”
He also praised the dog from Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Icelandic thriller “Lamb,” which stars Noomi Rapace. “Panda was a truly deserving win for the timeless, treasured qualities of a dog in full empathy with its owner, and loyal to a fault, making the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, Panda has since died in real life, so this will be a posthumous honor,” he noted.
Past winners include Brandy the pit bull from “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Uggie from “The Artist,” and the bulldog from “Paterson.”
Watch the 2021 ceremony in the video below: