Hollywood and Monegasque royalty mingle at TV Festival

Honorary President Prince Albert II of Monaco has officially opened the 59th Monte-Carlo Television Festival in front of a star-studded, capacity audience at the Grimaldi Forum. Following a glamorous Red Carpet featuring a glittering line-up of acting and creative talent from around the world, the Golden Nymph fiction and news juries were presented on stage.

Prince Albert officially opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday 14th June. Photo: Monaco Life, all rights reserved

This year’s fiction jury includes Ricky Whittle (Jury President), Pedro Alonso, Anne Kolbjornsen, Gisella Marengo, Gideon Raff and Ola Rapace, and the news jury is comprised of Rory Kennedy (Jury President), John Irvine, Ghislaine Ottenheimer, Paul Refsdal, Luca Rosini and Masaru Zenke.

In celebration of what is today’s golden age of global television, the 59th Opening Ceremony concluded with the French Premiere screening of the first episode of L.A.’s Finest, in the presence of actresses and executive producers Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys II), who plays Sydney Burnett and Jessica Alba (Sin City), who plays Nancy McKenna.

“Boundless is probably an accurate way to describe today’s increase of exceptional programs being created worldwide,” Prince Albert told the audience in his opening speech. “From remarkable series to thought-provoking documentaries and insightful news reports from remote territories, each one set to educate, enlighten and to entertain us.”

“The gap between television and cinema is definitely closing in these exciting times in the global content business and the Festival’s outstanding line-up of talent certainly reflects this,” added Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. “We are so thrilled to have secured the French Premiere of L.A.’s Finest produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television and 2.0 Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television, and I am delighted to welcome the series’ stars, Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba to Monte-Carlo.”

In presenting the French premier of their action series, Alba said: “You typically don’t get to see two women as stars of this genre – usually you get to see men – and the women typically service the male story but in ours the story revolves around us, and I think it’s refreshing and it’s different and it’s cool,” a statement that was greeted  by warm applause from the Monégasque audience.

Meanwhile, Union said she greatly enjoyed the series’ action scenes. “We have a blast. Being able to kick butt, be funny, be sexy, be mysterious… they usually reserve that just for men but, listen, when you don’t service literally half of the population of the world you do yourself a disservice. Not only are you a bad person, you are a bad businessperson. So we are here to be amazing actors, great business-women and equal opportunities entertainers.”

Other celebrities attending the ceremony included Ricky Whittle, star of American Gods, Lindsey Morgan and Richard Harmon, the stars of The 100, Instinct star Alan Cumming, and Sharon Case, Amelia Heinle and Camryn Grimes from The Young and the Restless.

The Monte-Carlo Television Festival has established itself as one of the industry’s foremost events, bringing together the biggest names in television. This year, for the 59th edition, a brand new initiative reserved exclusively to TV industry professionals has been launched, the ‘Pass Pro’ to promote and optimise contacts during the event, making the most of the possibilities offered by the Festival.