Stars raise RM86m at Cannes char­ity

New Straits Times - - World -

CANNES: A gal­axy of stars, in­clud­ing Leonardo DiCaprio, Dustin Hoff­man, Ni­cole Kid­man and Will Smith, raised more than €18 mil­lion (RM86 mil­lion) at the AIDS ben­e­fit that is the so­cial high­light of the Cannes film fes­ti­val.

The an­nual am­fAR Foun­da­tion for AIDS Re­search gala din­ner on Thurs­day saw celebri­ties and bene­fac­tors pay­ing up to €466,000 for a ta­ble at the Eden Roc ho­tel along the French Riviera at Cap d’An­tibes.

Ac­tresses Jessica Chas­tain, Milla Jovovich and for­mer foot­baller David Beck­ham were among the other A-lis­ters present for the auc­tion to help the char­ity founded by late Hol­ly­wood legend El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor.

Or­gan­is­ers had hoped to beat the €22 mil­lion raised at last year's din­ner when DiCaprio, act­ing as auc­tion­eer, sold a sculp­ture by Bri­tish artist Damien Hirst for €3.1 mil­lion and a day with Hol­ly­wood star Kevin Spacey for half a mil­lion.

“End­ing AIDS is not a fan­tasy. It’s a goal within our reach,” said the foun­da­tion’s pres­i­dent, Ken­neth Cole.

“Our goal is a cure for 2020. You have the power to stop this pan­demic that has killed 35 mil­lion peo­ple,” he told the guests.

This year’s lots in­cluded a week in an ex­clu­sive re­sort in the Mal­dives for 60 peo­ple and a fully-re­stored 1958 Jaguar XK150 sports car.

Since the galas be­gan at Cannes in 1993, the “Cin­ema Against AIDS” din­ners have raised more than €174 mil­lion.

EPA PIC

(From left) Uma Thur­man, Will Smith and Jessica Chas­tain at the am­fAR Foun­da­tion for AIDS Re­search gala din­ner at Eden Roc Ho­tel in An­tibes, France, on Thurs­day.

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