Thursday, April 18, 2024

UPDATE Cannes 2014: Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton the New Faces of amFAR


UPDATE MAY 25TH: Got a lot of positive feedback on this piece. Day after, saw their black Mercedes 350 sedan, stamped with amFAR name, roaming around Cannes. Today watched from coach on Delta flight Nice to New York as their events director took a nice business class seat home.

EARLIER: Wow– the good old days are over. At the height of the amFAR dinners in Cannes, Elizabeth Taylor was the honored guest and Elton John the performer. Now Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton were the new faces of amFAR last night at the rain drenched Hotel du Cap. How the mighty have fallen.

Sharon Stone was back in attendance last night after her awkward dismissal a few years ago. Stone is now the Imelda Marcos of amFAR. She’s present, but they don’t emphasize her. The group pulls in a few actors hanging around Cannes for other reasons, including Marion Cotillard and Jessica Chastain. They also featured pitch man John Travolta who was in town promoting a billionaires’ resort in Belize.

But it’s also Night of the Oligarchs, with Russian billionaires paying $9,000 a ticket and more to see Hollywood stars up close. Ooh la la. Knockout of the night: Jane Fonda, who flew back to Cannes for the event from her film shoot in Italy.

Lana del Rey and Robin Thicke provided entertainment.

amFAR is a good gig for their executives. CEO Kevin Frost was paid over $400,000 in 2012 according to tax filings. Thirteen other execs make six figure salaries.Total compensation of key employees came to $2.2 million. “Other salaries” equaled over $4.6 million.

In 2012 total expenses exceeded total revenue by $1.5 million. Net assets or fund balances fell by over $700,000. Outside consultants were paid around a total of $800,000.

Grants to organizations came to $8 million. Remember salaries totaled $6.8 million. Party on!

How about  a comparison? The Elton John AIDS Foundation, much smaller, gave over $6.8 million in grants in 2012. Salaries and outside benefits came to around $400,000 total. Both groups use AAB Productions to help them put on their events. But EJAF only paid them $113,000 in 2012. amFAR was soaked for $253,625.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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