“The show must go on”. This is the spirit that animated the 17th edition of the Monte Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie – MCFFC (Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival), the most popular kermesse under the high patronage of the Sovereign Prince and the Italian Embassy, created and directed by Ezio Greggio, iconic Italian comedian, actor, film director and screenwriter. The postponed event, due to COVID-19 lockdown, gave the opportunity to the Monegasque audience to watch, at the Grimaldi Forum, some of the most relevant international film comedies in recent times, including some short films as a novelty of this edition.
From the 5th until the 9th October the Principality had being transformed in a unique stage where to enjoy different ways to make people smile by dealing also with delicate and dramatic themes. France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Kosovo, Spain, United Kingdom and USA were well represented through motion pictures.
The Oscar-awarded actor, film producer, screen writer and film director Nick Vallelonga presides over a truly pink Technical Jury, made of skilled female celebrities. Sabrina Impacciatore, talented Italian actress, Maggie Civantos, eclectic Spanish actress, and Lotte Verbeek, awarded as best actress in major Film Festivals. As usual, also the Audience Jury made its voice be heard to narrow down the finalists awarded during the Awarding Gala on Saturday the 10th October 2020 just after a glamorous Red Carpet. The German production “Nightlife” directed by Simon Verhoeven was awarded the first price as the Best Film Direction, the Best Movie and the most preferred Audience choice.
A parade of international stars went on stage to get a special tribute. “I have been dealing with every film to convey emotions and I do hope to direct some more”, highlighted Patrice Leconte (Career Award), brilliant French film director of “Ridicule”, awarded as best foreign language film at Oscar Awards ceremony. “Being able to see a live audience and such a festival, despite current difficulties, fills me with joy”, stressed Alessio Lapice (Under 30 Future Award), a promising young Italian actor.
“My father, a real landmark in the musical scene, taught me that you never stop learning”, stressed Andrea Morricone (MCFFC Award), son of the famous Italian film composer.
“I think Monaco is the best European city”, started out Nino Frassica (King of Comedy Award), a talented Italian comedian and actor who played some relevant roles in most popular TV series and some international movies.
“I would like to emphasize the successful outcome you reached with this edition thanks to your strong will to succeed”, outlined H.E. Laurent Anselmi, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“I am honoured to participate to this nice show as my first public event in my diplomatic duties”, stated H.E. Giulio Alaimo, the new Ambassador of Italy in Monaco.
The MCFFC, in fact, offered also some exceptional occasions. On Monday the 5th, comedy lovers could benefit from the Monegasque preview of “Un Triomphe” (The Big Hit) a meaningful movie by Emmanuel Courcol that will open the Cannes Festival late in October.
On Friday the 9th, “The Comeback Trail” by George Gallo, starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, was projected in world preview.
“I thought I was dreaming while acting with such an iconic cast”, pointed out Kate Katzman, skilled American actress, special guest at the MCFFC.
“I am really happy that we triumphed over this difficult and dramatic period, at last” pointed out Ezio Greggio opening the international press conference on Tuesday the 6th – “after having been closed at home during the lockdown, finally Cinema pushed us to come out again through its power of bringing people together and expressing friendship, culture and entertainment”, he added at the Awarding Ceremony.
But what has meant making comedy during this unusual year? HelloMonaco collected some interesting remarks from the president and all members of the Technical Jury.
“We are living in a crazy time where nobody knows what to do but this Festival is important because we need to go forward slowly with consciousness and respect towards people who are having a rough time because of this virus”, underlined Nick Vallelonga who was given the prestigious Legend Award – “the Comedy has the power to bring people to theatre, to laugh together, respecting distance; I think that is a key step in the right direction from this amazing land of Montecarlo, giving a positive message to the world: we can all together come out of this as long as we are safe and keep hope”, he added.
“In my opinion, the most successful movie is the one that is able to transmit a small thought or a reflection, in other words a feeling shift capable to leave a mark inside you”, outlined Sabrina Impacciatore, MCFFC Award-winner – “I do hope that Comedy will continue to be always free as any form of artistic expression, drawing inspiration also from tragic events, an essential element always presents in the Italian Comedy (Commedia all’Italiana). Comedy, in fact, gives chance to human being to exorcise their trauma”, she added.
“I think this is a very important occasion not only for actors but for the whole movie and entertainment industry made of lots of people who need more than ever a real support”, underlined Maggie Civantos, MCFFC Award-winner – “I really appreciated to attend this experience as a Jury member since I do believe that it is essential to work with passion, trying to always give the best of ourselves on the film set in order to transmit the audience a message that makes them feel better”, she added.
“I am really honoured to take part to the Technical Jury since Comedy is everything to me and it accompanies me with a smile in everyday life and at professional level as an actress”, concluded Lotte Verbeek praising the great effort of all people working behind the camera: “A great sense of beauty characterises all show-business professionals, especially the ones working in the Italian Film Industry”.
The 2020 edition of the Monte Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie reminded us that physical distance and masks cannot prevent us to feel close through the sharing of a special emotion, a laughter that makes us feel less isolated. And never like this year, the MCFFC took it very seriously.
17th Edition of the Monte Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie
List of Awards
Best Movie: “Nightlife” (Germany, 2019) directed by Simon Verhoeven.
Best Director: Simon Verhoeven, film director of “Nightlife” (Germany, 2019).
Audience Award to “Nightlife” (Germany, 2019) directed by Simon Verhoeven.
Special Mention to the whole Cast: “Nightlife” (Germany, 2019) directed by Simon Verhoeven.
Best Actress: Candela Peña starring in “La Boda de Rosa” – Rosa’s Wedding (Spain, 2020) directed by Icíar Bollaín.
Best Actor: Nando Paone starring in “Il Ladro di Cardellini” – The Finch Thief (Italy, 2020) directed by Carlo Luglio.
Best Short Film: “Cash Stash” (France, 2019) by Enya Baroux and Martin Darondeau.
Legend Award to Nick Vallelonga.
Career Award to Patrice Leconte.
Monte Carlo Film Festival Award to Sabrina Impacciatore, Maggie Civantos and Andrea Morricone.
King of Comedy to Nino Frassica.
Under 30 Future Award to Alessio Lapice.