Right before the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Principality hosts its 12th annual Charity Film Festival. This took place from 14 to 16 May giving the public the opportunity to view free movie screenings from approximately 15 countries at the 5-star Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel.
From early morning until well into the night, a wide variety of films were shown from both students and famous filmmakers - including Berlinale, TIFF, Sundance, Venetian Festival and Oscar nominees.
According to the programme and executive director of the Monaco Charity Film Festival (MCFF), Darina Griboyedova, this year turned out to be a celebration of Russian productions and the debut for some CIS countries. For the first time the event also featured films from Nigeria, Israel and the Ivory Coast.
The guests at the closing ceremony were the People's Artist of Russia, the film director, screenwriter and producer Vladimir Khotinenko, who received the MCFF "Lifetime Achievement" award; Musician and composer Vladimir Presnyakov, Sr.; Favourite painter of Prince Albert II - artist George Shishkin; Designer Tatiana Tridvornova; Danish sculptor Liné Ringtved Thordarson; Young artists from Ecole Production Moscow and the participants of the show Voice Kids Russia - Gregory; Artist from Bulgaria Ayla Arda, Canadian actress Majoly Dion, film producer Filipp Perkon, Consul on Culture from Russia in Monaco - Natalie Bereza, Consul General of Tunisia in Nice - Hamed ben Brahim, representatives of philanthropic foundations from the Philippines, Monaco and Russia, as well as filmmakers and screenwriters from France, Tunisia, Germany, Albania, Spain, Palestine and China.
Guests of the gala evening enjoyed a dinner, a music programme, fashion show, a charity auction, and, of course, a ceremony where the winners picked up their awards.
According to the results of the vote of the independent jury of the festival, which sits in Los Angeles, the best actress accolade went to Majoly Dion for her main role in biopics about the problems of battling cancer among women. The best director was named as Jerome Moura of Tunisia.
The prize for best actor went to Kazakhstan Erbolat Atabay for the main role in the film "Ray of the Morning Dawn." And the best MCFF 2017 film was “Therapie” from German director Felix Charin.
Also, Evgeniy Lyapin was awarded with the special prize of the Festival for playing the main character of the film "Message" directed by Daria Gnashko, all about the life of a young man living with disabilities in the city.
The beneficiary of the Festival is traditionally one of the largest charitable organisations in Asia - the Virlanie Foundation Philippines.