It’s the opening night of the 62nd Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Storm clouds break and clear, blue skies greet flashing cameras, glittering gowns and dapper tuxedos on the red carpet. The excitement is palpable as celebrities, princes, journalists and fans come together for a festival like no other, with over thirty unforgettable events in just five days.
Actor John Goodman, who presided over this year’s festival, cracks a few jokes to the media. Billy Harris, who plays Collin Hugues in the Ted Lasso series, dribbles a soccer ball down the red carpet. Italian actor and model Francesca Chillemi stuns the crowd in a gorgeous black dress.
“Monte-Carlo is the festival for VIPs, the festival for all kinds of productions, the festival for professionals, the festival for the press, but above all it is a festival for the public….Whenever we organize an event, the fans are at the heart of our concerns,” said Cecile Menoni, Executive Director of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
Created in 1961 by Prince Rainier III, the Monte-Carlo Television Festival has become an unmissable celebration for anyone in the television industry. World premieres, tributes, anniversaries, behind-the-scenes talks and signing sessions are all part of the major event. But at the very core of the festival, studios, television channels, digital platforms and celebrities are all competing to win a prestigious Golden Nymph Award.
Julia de Nunez wins for her portrayal of Brigitte Bardot
This year, HSH Prince Albert II, president of the festival, presented rising star, Julia de Nunez, who plays the lead role in the new series “Bardot” with the Golden Nymph for Most Promising Talent.
Streaming and the pandemic’s effect on how we watch television
Nobody could’ve predicted that a global pandemic would one day shape the way television is consumed. The growing number of streaming services available, the green-lighting of new series with astronomical budgets and star-power, the real-time effects of poignant documentaries: in this dynamic context, the Monte-Carlo Television Festival aims to be an avant-garde reflection of the trends of an industry that is currently undergoing profound change.
Artificial Intelligence and the future of storytelling
Frankly speaking, many writers and artists are worried about AI. Generative AI has been rapidly gaining momentum when it comes to producing content, text and images. What does that mean for the future of storytelling? From scriptwriting to directing to content creation, AI will most likely be majorly disruptive in the broadcast industry. Can humans stay in control? What will AI’s impact on diversity of stories be? What opportunities can be created? It’s so important for major festivals to address the subject and that’s why a fascinating panel discussing AI’s storytelling potential took place on 18 June.
Meeting the stars of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The epic drama series set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world caused quite a buzz when it was released last year. Amazon made a five-season production commitment worth over US$1 billion, which would make it the most expensive television series ever made. 25 million viewers globally watched the show’s premiere within the first day, prime video’s biggest premiere ever.
At this year’s Monte-Carlo Television Festival, fans gathered for a chance to meet the show’s big stars. American actor Cynthia Addai–Robinson (who plays Queen Regent Miriel), Welsch actor Owain Arthur (Prince Durin IV), English actors Maxim Baldry (Isildur) and Lloyd Owen (Captain Elendil) signed autographs and took selfies with their biggest fans.
“It’s television. It’s what I love doing,” John Goodman
On stage, the legendary John Goodman was enthusiastically welcomed by this year’s audience at the festival. Then, for the first time ever, Prince Albert II presented an Honorary Diploma to Harlan Coben for his exceptional contribution in the field of literature, arts and world entertainment.
The Prime series “Harlan Coben’s Shelter” opened the festival with the world premiere of its first episode. Harlan Coben, the co-showrunner and executive producer of the series, has written 35 novels that have sold 45 million copies worldwide.
“I’m just here for the Prince,” Harlen Coben
While accepting the award, the writer, who is three years older than Prince Albert II, revealed that while attending Amherst College, he made a friend named “Alby”. He had no idea that his friend would one day become the future Monegasque Sovereign.
“I am just going to say, I am supporting the Writers Guild of America, my union, that is striking right now, so I am not going to participate in any of the question and answers, and none of the media, I’m just here for the Prince,” said Harlan Coben while accepting his award at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
Paying tribute to Prince Rainier III
“The year of the celebration of the centenary of Prince Rainier III, the Festival takes on yet another dimension to honour its creator,” said Laurent Puons, Deputy Vice-President of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
During this year’s opening ceremony, a film produced by Monaco Broadcast about how Prince Rainier II turned the Monte-Carlo Television Festival into a world-class event was screened in the Salle des Princes.
The story of the Golden Nymph
The Golden Nymph is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards in the international world of audiovisual production. The award can be won in three official categories: Fiction, Documentaries & News and the Prince Rainier III Special Prize. The third category was created at the request of Prince Albert II to pay tribute to his father. The €10,000 prize is awarded in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to an exceptional documentary about the environment.
The emblematic statuette is based on the Nymph of Salmacis, created by Monegasque sculptor François-Joseph Bosio, principal sculptor of King Louis XVIII. The original marble sculpture is currently on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Photos of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace on display
Under the glass roof of the Grimaldi Forum, twenty-six images taken from the Archives of the Prince’s Palace and Monaco’s Audiovisual Institute capture Prince Rainier III, often alongside Princess Grace, enjoying the festival. The images portray the Prince greeting Marcel Pagnol, posing beside Michèle Mercier and Jane Fonda in 1964, presenting a Golden Nymph to Charles Vanel in 1979 and welcoming Annie Girardot during the screening of ‘Rêve de Constance’ in 1998.
“This year is particularly special for me, for my family and for the people of Monaco, since 2023 marks the celebration of the centenary of the birth of my father, Prince Rainier III. By creating the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, he wanted to honour the exceptional men and women who have built real cultural bridges between countries around the world,” said Prince Albert II during the Festival’s Opening Ceremony.