Film-lovers are celebrating as the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival continues for the 14th year and features fantastic stars and great films from a variety of countries.
Ezio Greggio’s cinematographic event returns for a 14th edition with the announced presence of Monica Belluci, Costa Gavras, Michel Legrand and John Landis
His satirical program Striscia la notizia, on-air each night on Italian television, brings together 7 to 8 million viewers daily. But in Monaco the popular Italian television host Ezio Greggio is first and foremost known as Mr. Cinema, as he is the organiser of the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival which this year celebrates its fourteenth edition. The event dedicated to international humour, from 28 February to 5 March, includes nine competing films submitted to a jury. It is chaired this year by British director Michael Radford, director of the film Le Facteur, in 1994. The filmmakers will be honoured at this edition with Costa Gavras and John Landis, “two friends,” as guests of honour, revealed Ezio Greggio, with whom he will be presenting a film lesson on 4 March. There will be a final gala the next day, and Monica Bellucci and Michel Legrand are expected to attend.
Why are you presenting this selection of comedies from various countries?
Our festival combines international values. What I want is to offer a snapshot of society and to talk about cinema in 360 degrees, showing these different aspects. Comedy is, in short, a great mirror reflecting life itself.
Many European films presented are successful in their country but not elsewhere. How do you explain it?
Europe exists, but there are always borders. For film producers, it is simpler to buy the rights to a comedy that works in a particular country, than to adapt it to other countries, to make a film with their own customs and norms. This was the case, for example, with Bienvenue chez les chtis, which was adapted in Italy. But with this festival, we present original comedies. Like Kiki, love to love, which talks about love stories and fantasies, and that was a huge success in Spain last year. And all European countries have bought the rights.
Do you feel the importance of comedy in a currently gloomy Europe?
It is essential. It seems to me that laughter is sometimes stronger than shouting in the street. Satirical criticism is often more painful for the powers in place than the demonstrations. I feel it with my program.
An eclectic selection
It is one of the great strengths of this festival: the offer of free sessions of the films in the competition, for all film-lovers. And Ezio Greggio values this immensely. The screenings started at the Théâtre des Variétés at 7:45 pm with the English film This beautiful fantastic, followed by the most popular comedy of 2016 in Germany, Welcome to Germany (March 1 at 3:30 pm) on the refugee crisis. The same day at 19:30 there was a screening of the Spanish comedy Kiki, love to love, an immense success recommended by Ezio Greggio himself. Still on the Iberian side, the film The distinguished citizen following the Argentinean Nobel Prize winner Daniel Mantovani, was scheduled to screen on 2 March at 11 am. Then at 15:30, there will be a viewing of Swiss Army Man, an American comedy with Daniel Radcliffe.
Deneuve and Frot Premiere
At 7:45 pm on 2 March, the public will be able to attend the premiere of Midwife, a film by Martin Provost featuring Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot.
The two “Catherines” of French cinema share the screen for this feature film where a midwife sees her life shattered by the return of the former mistress of her absentee, oddball and selfish father. Finally, three films will be shown on Saturday: Three heists and a hamster, a Danish film, at 11 o’clock; Two lottery tickets at 3:30 pm and Orecchie at 7:45 pm, the only Italian feature of the 2017 event. For all these screenings, places must be reserved free of charge from the Tourist Board or on site, though subject to availability. For the closing gala on 5 March at 7 pm at the Grimaldi Forum, tickets are available for sale (40 euros via the Grimaldi Forum box office).
This 14th edition of the Monte Carlo comedy film festival is turning out to be a true comedy treasure and is something that Europe certainly appreciates this year!