amFAR’s Annual Cannes Gala Raises Millions for AIDS Research

amFAR’s Annual Cannes Gala Raises Millions for AIDS Research

amFAR, an organization dedicated to funding AIDS research since 1985, held its annual Cannes Gala at the Hotel du Cap. The event has been held for the past 29 years, tied to the end dates of the Cannes Film Festival each May. The gala was hosted by Queen Latifah and attended by a tony crowd that included Alex Pettyfer, Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum, Joel Kinnaman, and many more.

Highlights of the Evening

The gala featured live musical performances by Adam Lambert, Halsey, Bebe Rexha, and Gladys Knight. The highlight of the evening was the big-money auction run by Simon de Pury, which included a launch edition of the brand-new Aston Martin model, not even revealed to the world until the night before. The winner of the auction will be invited to the Formula 1 race of their choice and presented with their new car on site. The final price for the car was a whopping $1.5 million.

Another interesting item up for auction was a Damien Hirst painting of Leonardo DiCaprio, signed by Hirst and DiCaprio. The painting went for a gargantuan $1.2 million. Also on the block was a stunning 80-inch Icosahedron from Anthony James that was featured in the film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. All proceeds from the auction go to amFAR’s continued research for a cure to AIDS.

Carine Roitfeld coordinated an elaborate fashion show with 19 models parading through the enormous tent where the event was held. The highlight of the fashion show was the designer wardrobes shown off collectively during the Icons Collection CR Runway Show. In past years, the collection has gone for over a million, but this year it only went for $600,000.

The Presenters and Sponsors

Aston Martin and the Red Sea International Film Festival were the presenters of the Cannes Gala. The Signature Sponsor was Chopard, which donated a pair of Haute Joaillerie 18-karat white gold earrings set with pear-shaped emeralds weighing 9.77 carats and diamonds weighing 7.3 carats.

The Crowd and Reviews

The crowd at the event seemed very rich if not terribly famous. A photographer said he recognized me as the first person he saw making their way down the stairs to the gorgeous du Cap setting against the ocean. Eva Longoria, who was at the pre-reception, spoke about her upcoming directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot, which was reviewed positively out of SXSW. She expressed her wish that the movie was in theaters as well as launched on Disney + and Hulu.

The Gala was impressive, with the tent particularly stunning from head to toe, featuring a Michaelangelo-style ceiling reflecting the tables below. The event raised millions of dollars for AIDS research, and the bidding was generous in some cases but generally under what past years brought. The gala was a huge success and will continue to fund AIDS research through amFAR.


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