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Monte-Carlo TV Festival Awards oustanding Talents

The Monte Carlo Television festival  has rolled out the blue carpet welcoming star guests for its 63rd edition, but it also has an eye on the future.
 
“We’re always working towards expanding and developing the festival. Each year, we get better and better,” executive director Cécile Menoni says.
 
Listing “fabulous highlights,” Menoni gushes over this year’s Crystal Nymph winner: Morgan Freeman The award recognizes the “stellar body of work” of the veteran actor, who recently exec produced “The Gray House,” which celebrated its world premiere Friday at the opening ceremony. Mary-Louise Parker, Daisy Head, Amethyst Davis and Ben Vereen attended.
 
“It’s such a thrill for us to honor him,” Menoni says.
 
The fest will also take a closer look at rising stars, with “Bridgerton’s” Simone Ashley given the International Golden Nymph for most promising talent. Honorary Golden Nymph – “Our festival’s highest accolade” – will go to “true fan favorite” Olivier Marshall: The French actor – and former policeman – is known for “36th Precinct.” He also created the cop series “Braquo.”



“It has always been important for our festival to attract big stars and their shows. Right from the very beginning, it has been crucial to appeal to both local and global fans. We certainly have an expanded fan contingent these days, because we make sure they are well-served with a variety of events enabling them to get close to and meet their favorite stars.”


 
That includes “selfie sessions” with “Chronicles of the Sun” team, autograph sessions with “Chicago Med,” “FBI” and “Law & Order” cast members and meetings with soap celebs from “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.”
 
To spotlight its 50th anniversary, “Little House on the Prairie” will host a special Anniversary Tea Party, says Menoni, while “NCIS” team Michael Weatherly, Wilmer Valderrama, Cote De Pablo and Brian Dietzen will mark the 1,000th episode of the series.
 
“We have a long list of amazing talent joining us, including Lee Jung-jae who will be in Monaco to support the launch of Lucasfilm’s ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ on Disney+,” she adds.
 
“Buffy” alumnus David Boreanaz, also seen in “SEAL Team” and “Bones,” will return to the fest, this time as the president of the fiction jury.

“We can’t wait to see who they will select. We just know they will be the best of the best as the final selections are all extremely strong this year,” Menoni says.
 
Taking a break from the glamour, the event will encourage conversations about the ever-changing industry landscape during Business Content sessions, addressing the impact of 2023 strikes, A.I. controversies – and the new tools it provides – as well as changes in international co-productions.
 
“We have a great lineup,” she says, mentioning “in-depth panel discussions on important and timely subjects,” from “Bringing the World to Light Through TV Drama” to “New Narratives for Documentaries: The Blur Between Reality & Fiction.”
 
Unsurprisingly, many “emotional documentaries” will be featured as well, including “Ukraine’s War: The Other Side,” “Ukrainian Chronicles,” “Broken Dreams,” “Lie to Me,” “Uvda: Table for Eight” and “Mines of Death,” while “stellar” official selection includes four world premieres: “Madam” with Rachel Griffiths (produced by Tavake and XYZ Films), “Alone at Sea” (High Sea Production), “Night Therapy” (Yes TV) and German offering “Der Heimweg” (Ziegler Films).
 
“The Law of the Sea,” “The Good Wife” spinoff “Elsbeth,” “Little Did I Know,” “Helgoland 513” and “The Gathering” will be screened for the first time in France.
 
“It’s always interesting to see how an audience responds. I find it difficult to watch [with them] sometimes, but I let other people tell me how they reacted,” “The Gathering” actor Vinette Robinson says with a laugh.
 
“There is nothing like the live, collective response. It’s unusual for television, but it can really heighten how the piece hits. To come to Monte Carlo, to have such a local, British show and see how universal it really is… It widens the audience.”
 
Martina Haag, “Little Did I Know” creator and director, agrees: “Showcasing your film or series and engaging with viewers directly can help boost the visibility and success of your show. Viewers who have a positive interaction with the creators and cast are more likely to become enthusiastic promoters. Also, festivals are fun and vibrant events where the hard work of the cast and crew is recognized and appreciated.”
 
“All these special events highlight the accessibility and relevance of the festival, which continues to be a must-attend event for worldwide talent, producers, writers, distributors, streamers, industry professionals and, of course, the public,” Menoni sums up.
 
“We hope this year’s edition delivers on its promise of celebrating the very best programming from around the world and, looking to the future of the entertainment industry, [figuring out] how it can continue to entertain, inspire and educate people throughout the globe.”

Variety