Glamorous and stylish, the Principality of Monaco is the focus of the international television industry this month, as it hosts the 59th Monte-Carlo Television Festival. This annual event brings together celebrities, producers, directors, writers and studio heads, to showcase the finest in television programming, and to compete for the Golden Nymph Awards.
Established by Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1960, and now under the Honorary Presidency of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Festival is one of the most prestigious of its kind in international television programming, and an event which attracts the elite of the industry.
This year’s Festival has an added dimension to the presentation of the dazzling Golden Nymph Awards and the cavalcade of programmes and stars appearing in the Principality – the premiere of the National Geographic documentary APOLLO: Missions to the Moon.
This documentary – featuring much material hitherto unseen – will be screened in partnership with the Embassy of Monaco in Washington DC, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar landing, and man’s first steps on the surface of the moon. The event will also throw a spotlight on Monaco’s little-known involvement in aerospace technology, which saw the Principality’s first communications satellite launched in 2015, and will herald the launch of MonacoSat-2 within the next few years.
Prestigious and highly coveted, the Festival’s Golden Nymph statuettes which will be presented to the winning artists, are copies of La Nymphe Salmacis, a sculpture created in 1826 by Monégasque artist François-Joseph Bosio – chief court sculptor to Louis XVIII. The original sculpture is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Opening Ceremony, which takes place in the Salle des Princes of the Grimaldi Forum – free and open to the public – will be presented by Belgian television and radio presenter Julie Taton, and features a roll-call of international names synonymous with the most popular television series worldwide. The juries for the Golden Nymph Awards will also be presented at this ceremony, followed by the French premiere of the first episode of L.A.’s Finest , starring Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys II) and Jessica Alba (Sin City).
The Golden Nymphs are awarded in two categories – Fiction and News. Fiction is subdivided into Drama, Comedy and Long Fiction, and News into Documentary, Live Breaking News and TV News Item. Readers will recognize several familiar TV programmes and performers in these line-ups.
There are also five Special Prizes. The Prince Rainier III Special Prize features two documentaries – Drowning in Plastic (United Kingdom) and The Curse of Abundance (Poland) – the AMADE Prize and the ICRC Prize which will both be awarded to Yemen: Kids and War (France), the Monaco Red Cross Prize for the British production of Care and the SIGNIS Prize which goes to a German film entitled War.
A full list of nominations in all categories can be seen on this link.
A special Golden Nymph Award will also be presented to an actor or actress considered to have made an extraordinary contribution to the global entertainment industry. Previous winners have included Helen Mirren, Mariska Hargitay, Marg Helgenberger, Patricia Arquette and Donald Sutherland, and this year the honour will go to American actor Michael Douglas, described by Festival CEO Laurent Puons as “…. one of today’s most highly-respected actors”, noting “…. the huge impact his work has had on the global television industry”.
Michael Douglas’ television career began with his appearance in a 1969 CBS-TV “Playhouse” special, entitled The Experiment, and his first significant role was in the multi-award-winning series The Streets of San Francisco which ran from 1972 to 1976. Among the many honors which Douglas has received are two Academy Awards (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1976 and Wall Street in 1988), and an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG for his portrayal of Liberace in Behind the Candelabra. Most recently he has just finished filming the second season of The Kominsky Method, with Alan Arkin. Mr Douglas will be present at the Festival to collect his award from Prince Albert at the closing ceremony on 18th June.
The 59th edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival takes place from 14th to 18th June. For more information, visit the Festival website.
An earlier version of this article appeared in the online lifestyle magazine Riviera Buzz