In launching the Festival in 1961, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, "wished to encourage a new form of artistic expression, in the service of peace and understanding for mankind".
Monaco's international status ideally suited the Prince's ambition: to recognize television as an exceptional means of bringing cultures together and enhancing their respective knowledge. This project immediately generated worldwide interest and over the years, many distinguished celebrities have sat on the successive juries, bringing international recognition to the best of television programming. In 1988, H.S.H. Crown Prince Albert II was named President of the Festival.
The best programmes are awarded with the prestigious Golden Nymph, copies of the Salmacis Nymph created by Monaco sculptor, François-Joseph Bosio.
The prize-winner of the International Grand Prix for Author's Documentary is awarded the sum of 10,000 $ from now on and is given the ARMAN trophy, made by this sculptor of world renown. Silver and bronze medals as well as the Martine Filippi Award for Discovery are also given.