First there was the Monte-Carlo TV Festival and next year there will also be the Cannes Séries festival which will potentially be a competitor to the Monaco one. A new development that is not really welcomed with open arms in Monaco.
Laurent Puons is not the type to throw in the towel. A former boxer, he was the university champion of France, has taken part in four professional matches, 45 amateur fights and has had only 7 defeats; he is ready to get in the ring, put on the gloves and face David Lisnard. Said more moderately, the head of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival does not intend to be intimidated by the Cannes Séries festival, supported by the mayor of Cannes and the future president Fleur Pellerin, which will be held in April 2018. No, Laurent Puons intends to fight back. “Cannes Séries is positioned as a direct competitor of our festival,” he explained. “It’s a threat. But I like challenges. And the Monte-Carlo TV Festival, which is now 57 years old and is considered the most important in Europe, with the support of all the studios, we are not going to let ourselves be outdone.”
Monte-Carlo announces 50 Cent
A natural fighter, Laurent Puons has already noted the launch of this Cannes event dedicated to TV series, unveiled at a press conference in Cannes in early April. A festival backed by Mip-TV, which benefits from support from Canal Plus, the exclusive partner of Cannes Séries, and the International Film Festival. “Cannes has big money backing them,” says Laurent Puons. “But we have the Sovereign Prince as the Honorary President and a better calendar date.” The Monegasque festival will take place after the series renewal period in May, and Cannes will be before. But already, to demonstrate who is still the strongest, Monaco Mediax, the organiser of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, is flexing its muscles for the next edition. And they are unveiling 50 Cent, aka Curtis James Jackson, the American rap star with 60 million albums sold, a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards. Curtis 50 Cent Jackson is also an actor. He appeared in his autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), and several other films. In Monaco, 50 Cent will be travelling as an actor and producer of the TV series Power, which has toured the United States since 2015. The main actor, Omari Hardwick, will also be present in the Principality. The full programme of the Festival was unveiled on 9th May. But Laurent Puons, determined to show that the Cannes Series will not knock him out, is already gearing up for this 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival. For the record, 50 Cent was in Cannes in 2014, at MIP-TV, to launch the TV series Power…
Friends or Foes?
Sunday, 28 May, it will still be necessary to be in two places at once. The two biggest events of the year on the Côte d’Azur will take place again on the same day. Impossible to do otherwise, it seems. The International Film Festival begins on the second Wednesday of May and ends 10 days later; The Monaco Grand Prix takes place on the Sunday of the fourth week of May. Do the maths: except in exceptional cases, the two highlights take place at the same time, to the detriment of taxis, hotels, restaurants, caterers and other rental companies, totally overwhelmed by demand. And it is obviously impossible to move either date. At the end of May, Monaco and Cannes have traditionally competed in terms of events and tourist visits. And now here comes the war of the festivals of television series. So, are Monaco and Cannes competitors or not? “Yes, we are competitors,” admitted Guillaume Rose, Director of Tourism and Conferences in Monaco. “But we are different: Cannes has a larger hotel capacity, and hosts very big events which attract tourism, especially French. Monaco offers high-quality, international events, and unique concepts, requiring services and infrastructure of the highest quality, and positions itself on the international tourism market.”
Thus, if Monaco and Cannes may seem to be competing, they are not rivals. Each has its own specific markets. Except that the arrival of Cannes Series, by attacking frontally at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, changes the situation. “Cannes does not just compete with our television festival, but clearly stands as a competitor to the Principality,” said Laurent Puons. “It is bad for the image of the country.” An attack to which David Lisnard responded succinctly, via his press service: “On the one hand, MipTV has existed since 1965. On the other hand, there is no problem with Monaco. We work well in parallel, as our operations are different and complementary. In short, everything is going smoothly.”
So despite the rhetoric of the Cannes TV Festival being a competitor to Monaco, both cities still do well in their own tourism markets and their fans can look forward to exciting events soon in both places, each with its own distinct style.