Tony Davis, founder of the world’s first Video On Demand film festival, conference, screenings and Gala Awards event celebrates with us the upcoming third edition of the Monaco Streaming Film Festival.
Coming from the United Kingdom, Tony Davis started to discover the Principality of Monaco and spend time here in 2008. Arriving to Monaco, he quickly fell in love with the Principality.
“I love the friendliness of the people, the weather and the opportunities afforded to entrepreneurs,” – says Tony.
Tony is an entrepreneur and the visionary behind the Monaco Streaming Film Festival which is hosting its 3rd consecutive edition in 2023.
What was your inspiration behind Monaco Streaming Film Festival, and why focusing on video on demand?
“We had considered launching a traditional film festival in Monaco for a number of years. However, we held off launching the project. This turned out to have been a good decision because we were able to view the explosive growth of the video on demand world.
Finally, we decided to launch the project at the same tine that the VOD industry was rapidly expanding and it seemed logical to launch a video on demand focussed event as the first in the world. Hence the Monaco Streaming Film Festival was born.
We were determined to be the first industry festival supporting VOD content producers.”
There are many film festivals out there that are focusing on the theatrical aspect. However, understanding that there were no film festivals with a dedicated focus on video on demand, Tony decided to address this market gap, and RG Capital, created and organised the first streaming film festival in the heart of Monte-Carlo – amid changing Covid restrictions.
Someone had to champion the Video-On-Demand industry (VOD) and their goal was to go even bigger. The Monaco Streaming Film Festival is four events in one; a film festival, a film market place, a conference, and summit, and of course a gala awards event.
How do you see the general anticipation of the Streaming Film Festival?
“We wish to grow the Festival to be the Globally recognised event for the video on demand industry. We feel the best way to grow is through partnering with a global media enterprise.”
Did you get any feedback also from the Monégasque Government after the first two years?
“The Monaco Government have been supportive of the initiative from inception and continue to support the Festival. When we launched the business we set up initially as an Irish EU Company. We have now established a Monaco SARL which we believe is the right format to build upon the relationships in Monaco and with other local businesses.”
You started the Film Festival in the peak of the Pandemic. What did you learn? What was the biggest challenge?
“We chose to launch during the Covid period because we wished to be the first streaming focused festival. This was a difficult time for a launch but we received great help from the Monaco Government and the team at The Grimaldi Forum.
I’m was with their assistance that we succeeded with a successful launch of the Festival. Three years on we are still the only global event solely dedicated to VOD content and producers.”
The year 2023, will bring the 3rd edition of the festival. What can we expect this year?
“In 2023 we will host three exciting film premieres and are in discussion with a number of major studios for new premieres. The first day of the Festival falls in Halloween, so we would like to include a content which had a Halloween storyline. We will also be celebrating the movers and shakers of the streaming world through the Streaming Gala Awards held in Monaco.”
How do you see the interest for this year from film makers?
“In 2022 we received 3,500 film submissions from 122 countries. We opened the window for 2023 submissions last week and are receiving a good level of interest. We anticipate receiving many great submissions for 2023.”
How many film submissions do you expect and who is watching the submissions?
“The team reviewed every single film submitted in 2022 and we will review all of the submissions in 2023.”
Is there any typical genre?
“We are not focused on any specific genre of content. The Festival welcomes all genres from: narrative to documentary to animation to creator social media content. We were delighted to receive submissions from 122 countries last year and we hope to receive content from the same number of locations again in 2022.”
Who are the nominees for the third year?
“We have only just opened up for submissions so we have not arrived at the nominations stage as yet. However I can disclose that the categories for 2023 include:
MCSFF JURY AWARDS
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Music Video
MCSFF Jury Special Gold Prize
MCSFF Jury Special Silver Prize
MCSFF Jury Special Bronze Prize”
Looking back at the Monaco Streaming Film Festival 2022, what was the most enjoyable moment for you?
“We received fantastic feedback from the Festival attendees. They informed us that the networking sessions have been extremely valuable.
We are also aware that a number of collaborations have been produced as a direct consequence of meetings at the Festival. We have also received excellent feedback on the conference sessions.”
Where do you see the new trends in streaming?
“One exciting new trend is the emergence and the growth of FAST which is quickly becoming one of the main streaming options for platforms.
Our good friend and conference host, Variety journalist, Gavin Bridge, is a leading commentator for this dynamic in streaming and is globally sought out to speak at conferences on this subject.”