61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival opens with star studded red carpet, world premiere screening of MGM’s Last Light
BY Yako Molhov
Friday, June 17, saw the official start of the eagerly-anticipated 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival. The Festival Honorary President, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco formally declared the event open in a star-studded gala at the Grimaldi Forum, following a glamorous Red Carpet featuring world-renowned acting and creative talent from many parts of the world.

During his speech H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco stated "Our Festival has always showcased on the one hand creativity, quality fiction production, and on the other hand, journalistic work for a better understanding of the real challenges, the major geopolitical and economic equilibria of the world we live in. Its content evolves constantly to integrate the technological developments which have turned the way we consume images, particularly with the development of digital platforms." Prince Albert II underlined the importance of the work of journalists, especially at times like these, with the ongoing war in Ukraine and also noted the changing media landscape and especially the rapid growth of streaming services, highlighting the fact that content is key, no matter how people are consuming it.

Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival added, “In the Golden Age of Content, there is no doubt that our Festival has become a leading force in the celebration of all aspects of the global television business. With an incredible line-up of the very best programmes and talent, both in front of and behind the camera, we are looking forward to delivering an exciting edition over the coming five days.”

The juries for this year’s Golden Nymph Awards were introduced on stage. American actor and producer Neal McDonough chairs the Fiction Jury, composed of British producer Richard Fee, TV host Adriana Karembeu, French actress Josephine Jobert, Anna Marsh, CEO of StudioCanal, Serbian actor Darko Peric and Danna Stern, founder of yes Studios in Israel. Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of National Geographic, is the President of the Documentary and News Jury, surrounded by the French presenter-journalist Marie-Ange Casalta, the German producer-director Tristan Chytroschek, the Norwegian director Tonje Hessen Schei and the head of development of Czech Television (CT) Radomir Šofr.

A capacity audience in the Salle des Princes was treated to the world premiere of the first two episodes of the five-part thriller Last Light, produced by MGM International TV Productions, in association with Peacock, Viaplay, MBC Group, Stan and internationally distributed by MGM. Based on the highly successful novel by Alex Scarrow, Last Light is directed by Dennie Gordon (Jack Ryan) and stars Matthew Fox (Lost), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones), Alyth Ross (Traces) and Taylor Fay (Judge Rinder), all of whom were in attendance at the special screening.

Created to recognise brilliant and exceptional rising talent, H.S.H Princess Charlene then presented the very first International Golden Nymph for Most Promising Talent to French actor Théo Christine (War of the Worlds, SKAM, Suprêmes).

Earlier during the day TVBIZZ had the opportunity to talk to Theo who commented that it was a big honor to receive the award and it is always nice to be the first and that the recognition also goes to all the crews he has worked with and dedicated the award to his colleagues. Theo noted that for him the most important part of every project, never minding if it is a movie or a series, is to have time to prepare for the role, meet his fellow cast members and go deeper with the characters. The young actor commented that so far he has not done comedy roles but he would like to try every genre and is open to shooting comedy roles, especially in English. Theo also talked about his most recent project – a cop drama for CanalPlus called BRI (Brigade de Recherche et D'Intervention) which goes deep into the private lives of the characters. The new series will be out in January or February and he plays the role of a young cop, the newest member of his team. The talented French actor shared that some of his favorite international series are Vikings, Gomorrah and Ozark.
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