Last year’s amFAR in Cannes gala was a disaster. The organization still has not reported how much money it made or lost from their auction and ticket sales. It was the first time ever that they didn’t trumpet the information immediately during or after the glittery evening at the Hotel duCap.
A source says, mockingly: “They’re still counting.”
This year, amFAR — which has lost its Hollywood appeal in the last couple of years — will count on Bono, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio — to come through for them. The premiere for their movie, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is two days before the amFAR dinner. amFAR also counts on no one asking questions, no one asking for a clear picture of what’s going on.
Ironically. amFAR still associates with odd people. Their so called global head of fundraising is still the very shady Milutin Gatsby (a made up name). DiCaprio, who has his own non-transparent foundation, got rid of Gatsby very quietly a few years ago.
The most recent financial filings available for amFAR are for 2016-17. On their Federal Form 990, amFAR reveals they were down $8 million in revenue from the previous year. Yet, salaries were up. CEO Kevin Frost pulled in almost $700,000 in salary and benefits that year. amFAR listed $6 million for salaries in 2016-2017, divided among a handful of executives.
The Cannes event is expensive to produce. It costs amFAR upwards of $5 million in direct expenses. In 2016, they paid the Hotel duCap almost $1 million to rent the place, $300K for food and beverages, another miscellaneous $3 million, and $3.7 million for entertainment that included performances by Katy Perry, The Village People, Sister Sledge, and The Bluebell Girls, and a fashion show curated by former Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld.
Maybe Bono et al will ask to see the financial records from last year. The event was sponsored by Moncler, Chopard, and Kiehl’s. You’d think they’d be interested about the finances from that night, too. On the amFAR website, the report for the 2018 gala is the only one that doesn’t say how much money was earned.
“They’ll still counting.”