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Jodie Foster in Monaco for breast cancer events

Monaco will be in the pink next week with two special events for the ninth anniversary of Pink Ribbon Monaco, for breast cancer awareness – with the participation of Oscar-winning Hollywood star Jodie Foster.

As in previous years, landmarks of the Principality will be lit up in pink for Octobre Rose (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) but this year the night (on Friday October 4) will be preceded by a special film screening on Thursday October 3 and on the Friday there will also be a gala awards dinner to celebrate people who have made a difference in the breast cancer field.

Tickets for both are still on sale, with proceeds towards future breast cancer awareness campaigns. 

The film screening (at Théatre des Beaux-Arts at 17.00) will be of Be Natural, a documentary about the life of film pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché, followed by a discussion with narrator Jodie Foster, the film’s director Pamela B. Green and French screenwriter and director Anne Fontaine.

Guy-Blaché began her career aged 21 in 1896, going on to write, direct or produce around 1,000 films. ‘Be natural’ was posted up on boards at her film studios, because she wanted her actors to be true to life and not exaggerate.

Then at 18.00 on the Friday there will be a gala dinner at the Hotel Métropole Monte-Carlo and the first Pink Ribbon Monaco Awards to present trophies to winners including Julie Meunier of Les Franjynes from Nice, who creates special turbans for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments and oncologist Dr Garnier from Monaco’s Princess Grace Hospital, known for his rehabilitation work.

Anglo-American Natasha Frost launched Pink Ribbon Monaco, which also organises an annual charity walk (held in February in the port of Monaco this year).

She said: “We started in 2011 and lit up just the casino and Métropole, and it’s grown and grown and this year there is a long list of monuments."

The reason for the film showing was because they want to celebrate women’s empowerment, she said.

“Pink Ribbon Monaco started with breast cancer awareness because I was struck by how many friends and family members were affected by this disease but it became about women supporting women.

“Last year when the Monaco government created a Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights, they asked me to join and we have worked closely with them.

“I saw the documentary on a flight to Los Angeles. So many women have been forgotten by history, and Alice Guy-Blaché is a blatant example of that.

“What started as a simple screening has snowballed into a major event and Jodie Foster coming is incredible. She is such a strong woman and a trailblazer in her field.”

Ms Frost said Pink Ribbon Monaco came about after she returned from studies in America, having grown up in France.

"When I came back I wanted to bring back the best of Pink Ribbon from what they do in England and the States – helping and supporting women. Prince Albert has always been very supportive – as he has personal links with the States he knows how Americans do things.

“I started with the walk because it is a wonderful moment of solidarity.”

She said breast cancer prevention is especially good in Monaco, where there is a free programme for all women aged 50 and above.

“That’s younger than in many countries and the programme has been very well-received – plus there is an awesome breast cancer screening centre in the Princess Grace Hospital which has a state-of-the-art machine.

“If you have the slightest suspicion of anything they are very responsive.

“The figures are so impressive that they flew me over to make a presentation about it at the United Nations last year.”

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