amFAR is back.
The creepy organization that used to mean something will attempt to throw a scaled down party in Cannes next Friday, July 16th.
By then, whatever stars were at the festival will be gone, except for Spike Lee, who’s the head of the jury. Spike doesn’t know amFAR’s history, so he’s letting them honor him.
Alicia Keys is the entertainment; someone is paying her, trust me. amFAR is boasting a lot of celebs on their website including Nicole Kidman. Someone will have to pick up that tab, too. amFAR is now better known for wasting money on celebrities eneterxpenses than doing good work.
amFAR’s CEO Kevin Frost is making around $600,000 now. According to the group’s Form 990 for 2018, compensation for the top staffers came to $2.5 million. Total salaries was around $6 million. That’s not much less than the total amount donated to domestic organizations needing amFAR’s money ($6.8 million).
In 2018, amFAR claimed that revenue less expenses left them MINUS $3.6 million. Their total net assets were down by $3 million from 2017, to $49 million.
amFAR in Cannes is something to behold: volunteer swan around town in chauffeur driven cars emblazoned with their logo, placards in the windshield. Even though the group is much hobbled from its glory days 20 years ago, they still put on a show. The celebrities, who bask in the glow of their largesse, are none the wise. No one talks about Sharon Stone, the deposed Queen of amFAR who raised millions for them and was treated shabbily.
This year’s semi-gala is said to be down to just 400 guests. Because the film festival was moved to July, and because of the pandemic, the event will not take place at the famed Hotel duCap Eden Roc. Instead, it’s been moved to a space owned by the city of Antibes which must be rented out from the office of tourism. The Villa Elienroc is not far away, but doesn’t have the cachet of the Hotel.
amFAR in 2021 is almost completely unrecognizable from the organization just five years ago. Harvey Weinstein is gone, of course. So is Kenneth Cole, who put his heart and soul in it and was also treated shabbily. But still lurking around is the mysterious “Milutin Gatsby,” a Serb using a pseudonym who is called the group’s “global fundraising chairman.” It’s a made up name, for a made up job. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, also sketchy, parted company with him a while back during the Malaysian public funds scandal.
There will be more, believe me… to be continued…