Friday, September 21st
, is the International Day of Peace and the principality will celebrate by hosting the Monaco Better World Forum (MBWF), under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco. This two-day event will be held across three locations, including the Cinéma des Beaux-Arts Théâtre Princess Grace and the Fairmont Monte Carlo, and will culminate with a Gala Dinner at the Monaco Yacht Club on Saturday, September 22nd
with Prince Albert himself in attendance.
Founded in 2016 by Manuel Collas de La Roche, the Better World Forum has at its core a mission to promote peace through the big screen. “It is cinematic art in the service of humanity,” he tells Monaco Life. Although this is the third edition of the forum, it is the first time it will be held in Monaco. For Mr Collas de La Roche, who is also the MBWF President, the principality is the perfect location for an event he views as “a continuity of the amazing work that H.S.H Prince Albert II is doing with regards to the ocean, the environment, and humanitarian causes,” he explains. “For me, Monaco is the ideal venue to host the Better World Forum since it is such an international place,” he continues.
This year, women’s rights, children, people with disabilities, the environment and biodiversity, and the plight of refugees are categories that will be highlighted through a two-day program of films and documentaries from around the world. The official selection includes Vincent & Moi (France), Street River (Brazil), Mountain (Australia, narrated by Willem Dafoe), Capharnaüm (Lebanon & France), Ma Fille (Figlia Mia, Germany, Italy & Switzerland), and Wonders of the Sea (United Kingdom & France, produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger). A free public screening of each film will take place at the Cinéma des Beaux-Arts.
On Friday night, the International Day of Peace will be celebrated with a dinner at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, followed by a Concert for Peace featuring the Lebanese countertenor Matteo El Khodr and an after-party with D.J Grace.
It is the Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 22nd
, that will showcase the initiative in full splendour, and limited tickets are still available for the event. The films’ directors will be presented with the Colombe d’Or, an award recognising their contribution to each social cause the forum has chosen to highlight this year. Along with H.S.H Prince Albert II, who will himself receive an award for Best Achievement, other guests will include the Russian actor Gosha Kutsenko, the French singer Liane Foly, the Angolan singer Matias Damásio, and the Turkish actor Mert Firat.
During the gala, an auction will be conducted by Mr Matthieu Lamoure with money raised to benefit two charities supported by the MBWF: Gift of Life in Lebanon, the world’s largest charity for children born with congenital heart disease, and Embracing the World in India, an international network of charities inspired by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math with a focus on meeting the basic needs of the world’s poor.
A respected film producer himself, Mr Collas de La Roche feels that the MBWF is a culmination of his life’s lessons and experiences, which includes two years spent as a monk with the Dalai Lama. “I am a very spiritual person and this is why I created the forum,” he says. “To raise awareness surrounding certain topics through cinema and to support and finance certain organisations. For me, it is a mission, the continuation of my spiritual path.”
The good news is that the Better World Forum has found a home in Monaco. “Thanks to the great support we have received from the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and Monaco Mediax, the forum will be held annually in Monaco,” he announces. Beyond the principality, he has plans to take the MBWF to different countries around the world as he strives to use the power of cinema to create an awareness on social topics and champion peace.
There are limited tickets still available for the Gala Dinner at the Monaco Yacht Club on September 22nd
. Reservations can be made here
. For more information, visit www.bwforum.org.