“Unlimited, as we could define the current growth of quality programmes produced around the world; smart television series, stimulating documentaries and instructive reportages, set in the most remote areas, enrich, amaze and teach us”, these are the introductory words pronounced by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Honorary President of this event, at the opening ceremony of the 59th Monte-Carlo Television Festival that was held from the 14th until the 18th June 2019 at Grimaldi Forum.
Since its foundation in 1961, by the vision of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III ahead of His time, this Festival has been playing a pivotal role in pushing television productions as an exceptional means of mass communication and awareness developer. “In our time, the border between television and cinema is fading inexorably and the participation of exceptional artists, showed this”, pointed out Laurent Puons, vice-president of the Festival.
HelloMonaco witnessed the vibrant atmosphere taking part to the Red Carpet and the Golden Nymphs Awards last Tuesday, the 18th June 2019. Those golden & crystal remarkable prizes, reproducing the shape of the classical Nymph Salmacis statue kept at Louvre Museum, have been considered some of the most important acknowledgments. They celebrate the best TV programmes and actors in Fiction and News sections, under the supervision of two technical juries respectively chaired by the popular British actor Ricky Whittle and Rory Kennedy, American actress, filmmaker and producer. Special Prizes like International TV Audience, focused on social topics, Prix du Prince Rainier III on environmental issues and the prestigious crystal Nymph, lifetime achievement award, to Michael Douglas made this occasion even more special.
The multi-award winning American actor received the Crystal Nymph by the hands of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince and Princess Charlene, beaming in Her elegant white evening dress. “Brilliant actor and outstanding personality since the beginning of his career in 1969”, Michael Douglas expressed his warm thanks to the Princely Family and for all the hospitality that the Principality has given him at any visit.
“To receive this, help reminding me where I have learned everything at ‘Street of San Francisco’ with my mentor Karl Malden, an extraordinary actor and friend”, stressed Douglas during his speech, recalling how important has always been teamwork and dubbing in different languages to ensure the ultimate success in all films.
An exciting moment as an icing on a cake for all the winners. Best actress prize in Long Fiction Program section went to Patricia Arquette starring at ‘Escape at Dannemora’, American TV mini-series directed by Ben Stiller that won also the prize as Best Long Fiction Program. The talented actress, able to easily switch from a tragic role to a comic role, named her prize after the memory of her muse, Grace Kelly. Grégory Montel, awarded Long Fiction Program Best Actor, was honoured to be mentioned in the presence of Michael Douglas for his role in the French TV film, ‘La Soif de Vivre’ (Thirst for Life) that reports on a major social problem, alcoholism.
Naomi Levov, reaching the podium as Outstanding Actress for the Israeli Comedy TV Series ‘On the Spectrum’ was proud to get the golden Nymph by the hands of John Reardon, Canadian actor starring in ‘Hudson & Rex’. Such a meaningful plot focuses on social inclusion of autistic people. His co-partner, Niv Majar, awarded as Best Actor on the same category made a long list of thank-you including showbiz work team, relatives and friends. The Jury appointed the Luxembourgian Vicky Krieps as Outstanding Actress in Drama TV series for ‘Das Boot’ about a secret mission during the Second World War. She sent her special thank for the appreciation. The Scottish actor Richard Madden, well-known for his role in ‘Game of Thrones’, was awarded as the Outstanding Actor in Drama TV series for his interpretation in ‘Bodyguard’, a contemporary thriller based on London’s Metropolitan Police Service investigations. ‘The Good Doctor’, American TV production considered as a revelation, received the highest mark as Best Drama TV Series, prize determined by public rating.
The Prince Rainier III Special Prize was awarded by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince to the exceptional BBC documentary ‘Drowning in plastic’, an unprecedented documentary on the plastic-pollution impact on Planet oceans resulting from a one-year footage. Tom Watt-Smith, best-selling BBC director and executive producer, was over the moon and, ideally, he shared that exciting moment with everybody who supported that project. ‘L’Amica Geniale’ (My brilliant friend), produced by UMEDIA for the Italian broadcasting RAI, Wildside, Fandango and HBO, ranked first in Drama TV Series. Ludovica Rapisarda, producer & marketing supervisor at Wildside, was so grateful for this accomplishment to celebrate a successful Italian-American production based on the Neapolitan novel of the Italian writer Elena Ferrante.
Within the special prize section, the doc film ‘Yemen: Kids and War’ depicting the true spooky face of the conflict in Yemen, won both the AMADE Prize and the International Committee of the Red Cross Prize. Last but not least, ‘Dollar Heroes – North Korea’s Secret Slaves’, a shocking German & South Korean co-production on 21st century conditions of slavery, was awarded as Best Documentary in News section. Something we never expected to show up as stated by the director Tristan Chytroschek. CNN reportage ‘Khashoggi Body Double’ received, then, the Best TV News Item award while ‘Good Morning Britain’ by the British ITV Studios – Daytime was appointed as Best Live Breaking News.
“This 59th Edition of the Monte-Carlo TV Festival wasn’t just offering a glittering entertainment, it was also a platform for debating on topical issues thanks to the quality of participation of international TV Industry”, concluded the Sovereign Prince. And Mr Puons added: “The Monte-Carlo TV Festival has always been representing the best on small screen worldwide and this Edition hasn’t departed from the rule to welcome the best actors and TV creations from the four corners of the Earth”.