Johnny Depp, Virginie Efira, Antoine de Caunes, Benjamin Biolay, Emmanuelle Béart, Adèle Exarchopoulos… the list is long. Common point for all these stars: they posed with Savanna, a small local chihuahua, during this 76th Cannes Film Festival.
We met her in the company of her lover, Cécile Forest, a neo-Cannoise of Belgian origin and animal advocate who has been very successful on the red carpet since adopting this calm… and photogenic young dog.
“I had only opened an Instagram account for her when she arrived at the house”, says Cécile, professional secretary. After coming to the festival “Hands in pockets” and meeting the community of devotees who throng the steps every evening to catch a glimpse of their idols as they climb the stairs, she seizes the capital of sympathy from her new pet.
The arrival of her mini dog brings her back full circle. “I now have a stepladder engraved with Savanna’s name.”
“Americans are the friendliest”
Now in the front row every night, Cécile has an extra asset when it comes to attracting the attention of actresses and actors on promotion: Savanna’s sleeping little face, which doesn’t seem disturbed by the surrounding audience. “There’s not much that impresses him.” Many stars take her in their arms when they don’t end up kissing her face.
“It’s really at the discretion of those who want to go to the end of the red carpet to come and see us”, explains Cécile, who believes that the personality most affected by Savanna was Monica Cruz, who came to the Canneseries festival. The Spanish actress is a big animal lover.
“Americans are generally the friendliest, does she weigh. They consider spending time with their fans as part of the ‘after sales service’ part of their job and love dogs.”
“Let the law change!”
“Where she can’t go, I won’t go”, summarizes Savanna’s mistress when asked about the purpose of her approach, beyond the collected autographs and snapshots. She campaigns for small dogs “well behaved” become more accepted in public places and events such as the Cannes Film Festival.
“Cannes residents have the right to reserve seats online to watch movies, but since the 2015 attacks you can no longer take small animals with you, she lets go. Before, they went unnoticed in bags, as long as they didn’t make any noise. Not anymore, because we are systematically searched. So I don’t go there anymore, and I’m fighting for it to change again.’ Meanwhile, the couple is chasing selfies with unprecedented success.
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