Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival 2020 – The Show must go on!

Let’s go back to the movies!

The 17th edition of the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival that runs from October 5-10, 2020 at the Grimaldi Forum, is organized under the High Patronage of Prince Albert II, and the Italian Embassy, in collaboration with EFG Bank (Monaco). Radio Monte-Carlo is the official radio station and Marlù as media partner. This prestigious festival, created and directed by no other than Ezio Greggio, was launched to the press today Tuesday, October 6, under the message: Cinema is alive, it’s time to return to the cinema!  

The President of the jury is the world famous director Nick Vallelonga, with jury members Sabrina Impacciatore, Maggie Civantos and Lotte Verbeek.  

The French out-of-competition film Un Triomphe directed by Emmanuel Courcol, successfully opened the 17th edition of the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival last night. During the press conference held this morning at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte-Carlo, in the presence of Ezio Greggio and the entire jury, the unanimous message launched on the occasion of this edition is to start laughing together again, reiterating the importance of smiling and sharing, and celebrating our humanity. 

Ezio Greggio declared: “The show must go on! I also want to appeal to the authorities around the world to find solutions to encourage people to go back to the cinema.” He was enthusiastically supported by the President of the Jury Nick Vallelonga, who added: “After so many months of isolation, we must resume living and find each other, in complete safety”.

Numerous screenings of French, Italian and international films, in competition and out of competition, are on the program for this edition and, for the first time, the jury will also have to view and evaluate the short films by candidates for the Short Comedy Award.

The world premiere of The Comeback Trail, by director George Gallo with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Zach Braff and Kate Katzman, who will also be among the Festival’s guests, is also eagerly anticipated.

The illustrious jury 

(Photo: Maggie Civantos, Lotte Verbeek, Ezio Greggio, Nick Vallelonga & Sabrina Impacciatore)

Nick Vallelonga, screenwriter and producer of the two-time Oscar winner Green Book, chairs the jury of the 17th Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival. Nick Vallelonga, in addition to having directed In the Kingdom of the Blind, The Man with One Eye is King and Choker e Stiletto, wrote the screenplay for Deadfall. It rose to prominence thanks to Green Book, a 3 Academy Award winning film by Peter Farrelly Awards and 3 Golden Globes.

The other members of the jury are: Sabrina Impacciatore, known to the general public for having played in the most emblematic films of director Gabriele Muccino (Just a kiss, Another kiss, An Italian family) and winner of the Ciak d’Oro for Napoleon (and me). Spanish actress Maggie Civantos, famous for playing the protagonist of Vis à Vis, and starring in many successful films in cinema and on television. Last but not least, Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek, winner of the Pardo D’Oro for best actress for Nothing Personal, film directed by Urszula Antoniak, and known to viewers for her performances in The BorgiasOutlander, and Blacklist.

The Program

Tuesday October 6, at 15:30 the first film was A L’Abordage (in competition – France 2020) directed by Guillame Brac with Eric Nantchouang, Salif Cissè and Edouard Sulpice. As the plot goes, one summer night in Paris, Félix ran into Alma, they found themselves beautifully together. He decides to surprise her going to find his family on vacation, taking his best friend with him. It is the start of an adventure that will forever change their lives.

At 19:45, the screening of Mossad, (in competition – Israel 2019), directed by Alon Gur Arye with Tsahi Halevi, Efrat Dor and Tal Friedman. This film is a parody of the Mossad, the world’s most famous spy organization. Here, Mossad and the CIA compete to save the planet, but when an American billionaire is kidnapped in Jerusalem, the CIA decides not to depend on Israel and sends its own agent for the rescue operation. Relations between the two agents are strained. She sticks to protocol while he is impulsive and takes all the credit for their success.

Wednesday October 7, at 11:00 – In The Strange Pursuit Of Laura Durand (in competition – Greece 2019) directed by Dimitri Bavellas with Makis Papadimitriou, Michalis Sarantis and Anna Kalaitzidou. Two imbalanced guys are searching for the love of their life: a 90s porn star who mysteriously disappeared without leaving a trace behind her.

At 15:30 the film Comrade Drakulich (in competition – Hungary 2019), directed by Mark Bodzsar with Ervin Nagy, Zsolt Nagy and Lili Walters. When the secret services suspect a hero of the Cuban revolution of being a vampire, they stick two spies to follow him to unravel his mystery. Garlic cloves, Rock N Roll, and laughter guaranteed.

At 19:45 the film Il Ladro Di Cardellini (in competition – Italy 2020, directed by Carlo Luglio with Nando Paone, Pino Mauro and Ernesto Mahieux. In the Italian countryside of Campania, Pasquale Cardinale, a former ranger, spends his days between alcohol and video poker. To settle his debts, he organizes a scam of 200 pure white goldfinches, replacing them with more common ones, but it won’t turn out as expected.

Thursday October 8, at 11:00  the movie Nightlife, (in competition – Germany 2019) directed by Simon Verhoeven with Elyas M’Barek, Fredrick Lau, Julian Looman and Cristina do Rego. Milo works in Berlin as a waiter. One evening, by pure coincidence, he meets Sunny, the woman of his dreams. Soon after, they meet again, but the romantic evening turns into a nightly race through the city.

At 15:30 the film The Flying Circus (in competition – Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, 2019), directed by Fatos Berisha with Armend Smajli, Tristan Halila and Afrim Muçaj. At the start of the Kosovo War, a theater troupe from Pristina, performing a play inspired by Monty Python, must cross the border illegally to participate in a theater festival in Albania. The four actors have only one goal in mind, to meet their idol: Michael Palin.

At 19:30 the film Le Mariage De Rosa (in competition – Spain 2020), directed by Icìar Bollain with Candela Peña, Sergi Lopez and Nathalie Poza. While she has always lived for others, Rosa decides on the eve of her 45th birthday to take back control of her life. But very quickly, she discovers that her father, her brother, her sister and her daughter each have their own plans, and that changing the family scenario is not so easy.

The screenings will end in style on Friday October 9, at 19;45 with the world premiere of The Comeback Trail(out of competition – USA 2020), directed by George Gallo with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Zach Braff e Kate Katzman. Max Barber is an old man who owes debts to a mafia boss. He decides to make an insurance fraud by choosing a suicidal western star, Duke Montana, to star in a mediocre movie with the intention of killing him in the early days of filming.

New section on Short Films

For this edition, the Festival is adding something new: the section devoted to short films. The 5 finalist titles are: Snake Oil directed by Remy Archer (United Kingdom),  That no one knows directed by Martin Guggisberg (Switzerland),  The Line directed by Tim Butcher (United Kingdom), Cash Stash directed by Martin Darondeau and Enya Baroux (France), Green Lake directed by Emanuele Daga (USA).

The Short Comedy Award for the best short film will be presented on Saturday, October 10 during the Closing Gala Evening. 

A glamorous Gala evening & famous guests

Many cinema and television celebrities are expected to participate in the gala evening on Saturday, October 10, for the Awards Ceremony of the Festival’s 17th edition. Among the most anticipated guests, the eclectic Patrice Leconte, the director of the film Ridicule nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film and winner of the 4 César, including that of the best film and the best realization.

The new face of Italian cinema, Alessio Lapice, with Alessandro Borghi from  Il Primo Re directed by Matteo Rovere, revelation in the film Born in Casal di Principe, and in the series for the public Imma Tataranni, Deputy prosecutor, will also parade on the red carpet of the Grimaldi Forum.

Directly from the USA comes the female protagonist who performed alongside sacred monsters such as Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman in the movie The Comeback Trail, the charming Kate Katzman.

Andrea Morricone will also be among the winners and during the gala evening will pay a tribute to his father, the famous Ennio Morricone, who recently passed away. The comedian Nino Frassica, famous for the interpretation of the Marshal he plays in the television series Don Matteo, who will delight the audience with his irresistible humor.

Today’s Quote

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. Erma Bombeck

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