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The Amfar Gala Returns To Cannes In Movie Star Flair

The glitzy amfAR gala, which raises money for AIDS research, returned to Cannes on Friday evening with Sharon Stone hosting and Alicia Keys performing.
The 27th edition of one of the festival’s most anticipated nights was a smaller, more private affair than previous years, with the exclusive guestlist reduced from 900 to 400 persons, thanks to COVID-19 guidelines.
Ballerinas, flapper girls with Afghan hounds, vodka and caviar shots, and plenty of champagne kicked off the evening with a cocktail hour.
Then there was a sitting dinner sans the usual after-party that keeps people dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
It didn’t stop the crowd from having a good time at the hottest ticket in town.
This year’s theme was “I Am a Hollywood Star,” and guests were thrilled with a fashion show produced by Carine Roitfeld at Villa Eilenroc in Antibes.
Keys was the musical headliner, presenting a captivating set that included her renowned song “New York” as well as the much-loved “Fallin’.” Keys sat at the piano and revealed to the audience that this was her first in-person performance since the outbreak, to ecstatic acclaim.
Before the festivities began, Stone remarked, “It’s lovely, it’s overwhelming, it’s thrilling, it’s great to stay on mission here,” noting that some of the science utilized to battle HIV and AIDS was used against COVID-19.
“I think we stayed on mission and were back at it, which is very good,” said festival jury president Spike Lee, who was joined by a star-studded guest list from the worlds of film, television, and music, including Dylan Penn, Natasha Poly, Orlando Bloom, Regina King, Swizz Beatz, Rachel Brosnahan, and Soo Joo Park.
During the dinner’s live auction, a variety of luxury vacations, diamonds, art, and one-of-a-kind experiences were put up for bid.
Stone took the stage first, carrying two men on each arm.
“Isn’t it wonderful to be here!” she exclaimed before raising a glass to all of the attendees.
A chance to make your own vintage wine for 70,000 euros ($82,638) was one of the highlights of the year, while a Chopard 18-karat white gold diamond, tanzanite, and amethyst necklace raised 170,000 euros ($200,692)
Among the artwork, an Andy Warhol Mickey Mouse piece sold for 375,000 euros ($442,702), a Michael Kagan astronaut sculpture sold for 400,000 euros ($472,215), and contemporary British artist Sacha Jafri made a live painting that raised 1 million euros ($1.18 million) during the sale.
The 32 top designer clothes from the evening’s fashion show were also auctioned off, with a hammer price of 225,000 euros ($265,621) being achieved.
The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a non-profit organization, provides funds to promote AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and activism.
AmfAR has invested approximately $550 million in its initiatives since 1985, awarding more than 3,300 grants to research teams around the world.
Before the auction, master auctioneer Simon de Pury emphasized the importance of the auction in supporting amfAR’s mission.
“amFAR relies on those galas, on the kindness of so many of those artists who donate works and so many patrons who attend these galas, so I hope we can raise a lot of money tonight for amFAR,” she says.

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