Thursday, February 22, 2024

Two Weeks Later: Still No Word from amFAR on How Much Cannes Celeb Gala Made


Here’s a reminder: it’s been two weeks since embattled charity am FAR gave its annual gala in Cannes. And there’s still no word from them on how much money they made that night, or what the costs were. If I were the IRS or other authorities who monitor charities, I’d be curious.

If you’ve given money to amFAR, you should be curious.

Most charities announce their take for a gala that night at the event. amFAR has always trumpeted some number at the end of the evening.

But this year, there were few celebrities. Pierce Brosnan was the main draw. Stars stayed away from the event after amFAR had a year of upheaval. Much of their board was fired or quit. Kenneth Cole is gone. Harvey Weinstein, obviously. There was no Sharon Stone, no Leo, no Nicole Kidman. Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett didn’t even bother doing a photo op. Kristen Stewart did, then left.

amFAR pays its CEO Kevin Frost over $600,000 a year. They are top heavy with salaries. It’s their fiduciary duty to release the actual numbers from Cannes– and I do mean the actual numbers, not a fantasy.

What we do know: a mysterious Ukranian woman named Marina Acton spent $1.4 million on a Pierce Brosnan painting of Dylan. Someone else spent around that amount on a bunch of dresses.

The word from amFAR: “We’re still counting.” It takes a long time to roll all those 1 Euro coins for the bank!


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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