Cannes: Will Nellie From 'Paterson' Win the Palm Dog?

At the fest's midpoint, a clear frontrunner has emerged in the battle for the coveted trophy collar.

The puparazzi are set to descend on the U.K. Pavillion May 20 for what is billed as Cannes' pawmost awards ceremony, the Palm Dog.

Since 2001 (making it around 90 in dog years), this annual event sees a select group of mutt-loving rufferees pick out the most celebrated canine acting talent from this year's festival lineup, with the eventual winner receiving a special trophy collar.

Unfortunately, following a rather sad tail, this year's hot favorite isn't going to be available to claim the prize, as Nellie, the breakout British bulldog star from competition entry Paterson, has made her final bowwow.

"Nellie, may she rest in peace," co-star Adam Driver tells THR. "She died a couple of months ago."

With Palm Dog founder Toby Rose dedicating this year's award to Nellie, also hailed for portraying a male dog in the film (Jim Jarmusch said she was "playing transgender"), many might think the award already is sewn up.

But other Cannes poochy performances are worthy of appaws. The dalmatian from Critics' Week opener In Bed With Victoria has been singled out ("Eat your dog bowl out, Madonna," says Rose), as has the three-legged mongrel in Ken Loach's Palme-tipped I, Daniel Blake.

On the more pup-corn side, the fart-propelled corgis from The BFG could do what Up's Dug did in 2009 and see the prize head to Disney.

But will anyone really bet against Nellie, who would become the Palm Dog's first post-canis winner? "With her clear potential for transitioning, she could have been the Caitlyn Jenner of the dog acting community," laments Rose.