Cannes Fest 2022: amfAR Star-Studded Gala Honors Robert De Niro, Raises Millions

Christina Aguilera closed out the glitzy evening at the Hotel du Cap singing ‘Beautiful and stronger.’


Among those walking the red carpet this year were actresses Eva Longoria, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Williams, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Hudson and Michelle Yeoh, actors Tom Hanks, Casey Affleck, LaKeith Stanfield, supermodel Naomi Campbell and Candice Swanepoel, soccer star Kylian Mbappé, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, and Elvis director (and amfAR Chair) Baz Luhrmann with his Oscar-winning producer wife Catherine Martin.

The event was again held at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc hotel in Antibes, outside the center of Cannes. The amfAR goal was to raise millions towards AIDS research.

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Milla Jovovich and Eva Longoria pose for the cameras at the 2022 amfAR Gala in Cannes. PHOTO BY DAVE BENETT/AMFAR/DAVE BENETT/GETTY IMAGES
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LaKeith Stanfield on the grounds of the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc for 2022 amfAR gala. DAVE BENETT/AMFAR/DAVE BENETT/GETTY IMAGES

“I feel very humbled to be here tonight. I think the world is falling apart and for people to give money tonight for a great cause is a good thing,” says Camille Razat from Netflix’s Emily In Paris.

After strolling down the red-carpet, guests descended to long entry way behind the hotel, sipping champagne and mingling for the first half of the evening. They then moved to a covered tent for the dinner portion of the night and the celebrity auction.

The first musical act of the evening was Ricky Martin. The ‘Living La Vida Loca’ singer urged the audience to open their wallets to give.

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Cynthia Erivo was all smiles on the amfAR red carpet. GARETH CATTERMOLE/AMFAR/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMFAR)
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Coco Rocha voguing on the amfAR red carpet. GARETH CATTERMOLE/AMFAR/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMFAR

The first item put up for auction was a series of photographs, including photos of Andy Warhol and amfAR’s patron and long-time host Elizabeth Taylor, that was sold for over $250,000. (Since Taylor’s death in 2011, Sharon Stone has taken the reign of emceeing the gala’s dinners.)

Renowned auctioneer Simon de Pury manned the hammer on the evening, driving up bids for such items as a luxury trip to the Galpagos Islands, which went for $909,000.

Two time Oscar winner De Niro was presented with honorary award and auctioned off a photo painted by his father that sold for $534,900.

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Robert de Niro, an amfAR honoree, auctioned off a painting by his father. GETTY

Celebrity stylist Law Roach commented on how grateful he was to be in the room, raising money to fight AIDS: “we need the world to be rid of this disease, and I will continue to use my platform to speak on this issue that affects so many.”

Cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX was the main sponsor of the amfAR gala, the first time a crypto organization has been a backer in the event’s 30-plus-year history. The organization accepted crypto payments for entrance to the gala. FTX has widened its reach in recent months with celebrity partnerships and advertising at high-profile events including a recent Super Bowl ad featuring Larry David.  Last month, the group teamed up with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, their Head of Environmental and Social Initiatives, to debut their first-ever luxury fashion print campaign.

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Model Candice Swanepoel and French soccer star Kylian Mbappé at Cannes 2022 amfAR gala. GISELA SCHOBER/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMFAR)

“Aids affects a lot of people so when we make charitable donations, we’re really looking to make an impact on the largest areas of those impacted globally,” said Lauren Remington Platt, head of global fashion and luxury partnerships for FTX. “The philanthropy aspect was in line with our values and from a luxury and fashion standpoint you have at the epicenter all of this converging into this one space and we’re working to expose crypto to a wider demographic to bring light to these topics.”

Platt and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried auctioned off a custom FTX diamond necklace in support of AIDS research, which sold for $133,000. Made of 18-karat white gold with palladium alloy and 12 karats of diamonds, the necklace included the iconic FTX logo.

Carine Roitfeld, the former French Vogue editor who has her own publication CR Fashion Book curated the evening’s fashion show, which had a ‘Let’s Get Married!’ theme Roitfeld, said she was inspired by amfAR’s Founding Chair Elizabeth Taylor, who was married 8 times.

“This comes at a time when I feel celebrating love and family is more important than ever,” Roitfeld said.

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Ricky Martin poses with fans outside amfAR Cannes Gala 2022 GISELA SCHOBER/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMFAR

The collection of 30 fashion items included a Alexander McQueen bridal tuxedo in all-over lace; a Balmain’s light gray satin men’s suit; an off-white’s taffeta moiré with voluminous sleeves; a Givenchy’s long-sleeve cyclist neck ribbed sweater with 4G on the upper back in wool; a cotton tank top, and an embellished long white silk skirt; a Prada white cady dress with side slits embellished with crystal and jais embroidery; and a Valentino all-over embroidered v-neck slip short Canapone dress with floral crystal and micro materials shiny embroidery. The collection of items sold for $855,000.

Luhrmann took the stage to auction off Elvis guitar. The Aussie director wowed Cannes Wednesday night with the world premiere of his rock-and-roll biopic Elvis, which stars Austin Bulter as the King of Rock and Roll and Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.  The guitar sold for $187,000 and Luhrmann offered to direct a film via Zoom with the highest bidder.

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Baz Luhrmann and his ‘Elvis’ star Tom Hanks enjoy a moment at the amfAR dinner. GISELA SCHOBER/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMFAR)

The evening closed on high note with performance by Christina Aguilera, singing “Beautiful and stronger,” bringing the crowd to their feet in a standing ovation.

Since 1985, amfAR have invested close to $617 million in Aids research, giving out more than 3,500 grants to research teams around the world.