Wednesday, June 19, 2024

amFAR Gravy Train May Be Coming to an End with No Cannes Event This Year, Revenues, Assets Drop by Millions


The gravy train may be over for amFAR. All that swanning around at the Cannes Film Festival in specially marked cars with drivers, the incredible hubris of CEO Kevin Frost and his minions, face a certain extinction.

Revenue and net assets for 2018 — the first year they operated without Harvey Weinstein and Kenneth Cole — were way way down.

On their Form 990 for 2018, under revenue, contributions and grants fell by eight million dollars from 2017.

Net assets or fund balances dropped by $7 million.

Even Frost took a hit. His income from amFAR fell from around $682,000 to $560,000. How did he survive?

Most of amFAR’s income revolves around their big Cannes fundraiser. But this year, there is no Cannes, and no fundraiser. There are no other fundraisers in exotic locales, where amFAR for 20 years has been flying celebrities to pump up their image. The parties are over.

The latest tax filing covers the period from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. That lines up exactly with Weinstein’s fall from grace and the revelations of his auction scandal involving his musical, “Finding Neverland.” With Weinstein, and then Kenneth Cole, out of the picture, amFAR’s celebrity quotient collapsed. It was obvious that all their parading around Cannes, spending money, and not worrying about the consequences, would have an unhappy conclusion.

amFAR was also paying around $1.8 million for event production to two different firms. That also should be under re-evaluation.

All together, amFAR claimed a loss of $13 million for all its fundraisers, most especially the Cannes event for May 2018.

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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