Luc Besson Visibly Moved During ‘Dogman’ Ovation At Venice Film Festival Premiere

Luc Besson’s Dogman had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday night, scoring a nearly six-minute standing ovation from the crowd inside the Palazzo del Cinema.

Caleb Landry Jones stars in the Bessonian action thriller, which already has gotten a rave review from Deadline. He was in attendance along with co-star Jojo T. Gibbs.

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The film marked Besson’s comeback movie of sorts, coming after a past few years that included the disappointment of his 2017 tentpole Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the demise of his French studio EuropaCorp and a long-running legal entanglement relating to a rape allegation, of which he was recently cleared.

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During tonight’s ovation, Besson appeared to wipe away tears as he took a bow for the crowd inside the theater, hugging his wife Virginie Besson-Silla as well as sharing an extra moment with Landry Jones. Besson was also emotional during an afternoon press conference for the film, saying to welcoming media that “The only two things that can save you are love and art, definitely not money. When you have both you’re lucky.”

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Dogman stars Landry Jones as Doug, a tormented young man who was abused as a child and who finds salvation through the love of his dogs. Deadline’s film reviewer Damon Wise said it “fuses movies as diverse as Flawless and Willard with Besson’s trademark, anything-goes approach to genre.”

The film will have a theatrical rollout in France and Europe starting in late September and early October. Besson is producing under his banner Luc Besson Production. France’s leading commercial network TF1 pre-bought the movie and is co-producing it.

Venice runs through September 7.

Patrick Hipes contributed to this report.

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