“Dog On Trial” with Rescued Canine Actor, Kodi, to Premiere at Cannes Film Festival

If you’re a celebrity pet fan or doggy actor enthusiast, you need to keep your eye on one film premiering at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival: Dog On Trial, starring canine actor Kodi. In real life as a society and as pet “owners” we’re facing the important questions of deciding whether pets are “property”? Or do they deserve the rights of “personhood” like us humans? And then who is responsible for their actions and lives? And how cute is Kodi waiting to press those talking buttons in the courtroom?

Dog On Trial with canine actor Kodi to premier at Cannes Film Festival
Credit: Dog On Trial/Bande à Part Films

The French film (also titled Le Procès du Chien) sees Kodi, a fawn-furred 9-year-old Griffon mix, play Cosmos, a charismatic doggo standing trial for (allegedly) biting three people. We messaged with Kodi’s owners/trainers Juliette and Manu of Cie Dog Trainer, and they shared a few personal details on the new canine star. Kodi was found on the streets as a young pup, before staying in a shelter for just short of a year. He was then adopted at two years old and trained. They tested his DNA and found he’s an eclectic mix of Malinois, Husky, Brittany, and Poodle!

Screenshot of dog Cosmo from movie Dog on Trial
Credit: Dog On Trial/Bande à Part Films

The film is written and directed by Swiss-French actress Laetitia Dosch, who also plays Cosmos’ lawyer, Avril Lucciani. The “bittersweet” comedy also takes place in Switzerland. And Dosch also insisted Kodi be credited as “an actor,” so you’ll also see Kodi’s name on the movie poster!

The plot sees April, an idealistic lawyer dedicated to lost causes, agreeing to defend Cosmos for the first canine trial. If found guilty, Cosmos will be sentenced to death, mirroring (and questioning) the real-life fate most dogs face if they break the rules of our human society that they have no say in or understanding of.

Writer/director Dosch based it on various real-life legal cases involving dogs, which saw their owners on trial. With laws generally regarding animals as property – This film aims to examine the legal and philosophical questions of the rights and “personhood” of an animal – And who is responsible for them and their actions.

Kodi already packed his bag to attend Cannes. And from the clip, it looks like the proud pup will easily be nominated for this year’s Palm Dog Awards (the canine version of the Cannes Film Festival). Until then, you can check out our coverage of the 2023 Palm Dog Awards.

UPDATE: Kodi ended up winning the 2024 Palm Dog Awards!

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