Mirren's supporting corgis are top dogs at the Fido Film Awards

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Stephen Frears' hugely successful film The Queen has won more than its fair share of top awards, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that even the dogs featured as the monarch's faithful companions have picked up a gong. The five corgis, who played the Queen's pets, were the main winners at the inaugural Fido Film Awards – part of the British Film Institute's 51st London Film Festival, which has decided to emulate the Palm Dog Awards which have been a popular fixture at Cannes for seven years.

Both were organised by Toby Rose, who said the London awards had been among the South Bank festival's best-received events.

He said: "The inaugural Fidos are a first in more ways than one: the first time that an international A-list film festival has invited dogs on to the official programme, and the first time they have been allowed into the National Film Theatre building. Dogs have truly come in from the cold."

Interviewed for a short film charting the Fidos' history, the British director Sam Mendes had "invoked the whole idea of it pointing up another side of the human condition – people's reaction to animals," Mr Rose said, and added: "Dogs take up considerable minutes of film time, but they never get a nod. Nodding to dogs is the way to go."

The dog stars were picked from an eclectic range of films – The Queen's corgis were competing in the historical category with the brown hunting dog in Moliere which chases the eponymous hero out of a window, and the collie-cross owned by Samantha Morton's character in Anton Corbijn's Control.

The corgis, standing in for the Queen's pets in the film, also won praise from Dame Helen Mirren.

She said: "I know one should avoid acting with animals and children but these little chaps were a pleasure to work with and deserve all the plaudits for their fine performances."

Take a bow-wow

* Best overall

Helen Mirren's corgis in The Queen

* Historical Hounds

Corgis Anna, Alice, Megan, Oliver and Poppy in The Queen

* Best action movie

Unnamed hunting dog in Shooter

* Comedy Canine

Mixed corgi, Travis in Year of the Dog

* Short film

Harvey, the Welsh terrier in Dog Flap

* Best at London Film Festival

Petra, breed uncertain, in Far North