Luc Besson and Caleb Landry Jones behind the scenes on DogMan. Photo: Shana Besson.

Director Luc Besson to introduce ‘DogMan’ at Prague’s Kino Světozor

This year’s French Film Festival in Prague is coming to an end this week, but will welcome a special guest to close out its 26th edition: director, screenwriter, and producer Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional), who will present his latest feature, DogMan.

Audiences can meet the filmmaker at the festival’s closing night screening of DogMan on Wednesday, November 29, at 20:30 at Prague’s Kino Světozor. Besson will personally introduce the film and answer questions from the audience.

DogMan tells the story of a hard-luck young man whose life is saved by his love of his dogs. The unconventional hero, Douglas, is played by Caleb Landry Jones.

“Douglas is a lost young man… and he has nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing,” the star says about his role in DogMan. “His dreams and illusions are miles away from his bitter reality. I think he desperately needs to escape from his everyday life as often as possible. At the same time, he is very honest and has strong moral integrity.”

“Inspiration for my new film partly came from a newspaper article about a French family who locked their own child in a cage when he was five years old,” Besson says about DogMan. “This raised the question of what it does to a person mentally. How does someone survive this and what does the experienced suffering do to them? I decided to explore this idea through DogMan.”

DogMan premiered in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival, and will be released in Czech cinemas on November 30 through distribution company Bioscop.

Across a career that has spanned 40 years, Besson has directed critical and commercial hits such as The Big Blue, Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita, and The Fifth Element. More recently, he has made Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, with Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.

Caleb Landry Jones in DogMan (2023)
Caleb Landry Jones in DogMan (2023)

The French filmmaker has also served as a producer and writer for hit action franchises Taxi, The Transporter, and Taken.

Besson is no stranger to the Czech Republic: he shot 1998’s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, starring Milla Jovovich and John Malkovich, on Czech locations including Cheb, Bruntál, Razová, and Dobronice.

Besson’s films have been nominated for multiple César Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, and he won the Best Director César for his sci-fi classic The Fifth Element. His 1994 film Leon: The Professional also won a Czech Lion for Best Foreign Film.

DogMan is presented in English, but most other films at this year’s French Film Festival are screening in French with Czech and English subtitles, and tickets run 140 crowns. More information can be found at the offical festival website and Facebook or Instagram profiles.

Lead photo: Luc Besson and Caleb Landry Jones behind the scenes on DogMan by Shana Besson.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at

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