Movies

AmfAR Going Forward With Annual Cannes Gala

The fabulously well-to-do are ready to party with their fellow one-percenters at the Cannes Film Festival, COVID be damned.

AmfAR will host the annual fundraiser to benefit AIDS research on July 16, the organization announced this week. The event, which boasts $10,000 tickets and has played host to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and a dizzying array of champagne-sipping A-listers, will once again be held at the Hotel du Cap. No performers have been lined up yet.

It’s a sign that the Cannes Film Festival is sticking to its plans to host an in-person event from July 6 to July 17 even as France enters another pandemic-related lockdown due to a surge in the country’s ICUs.

This year’s festival may not have as many splashy premieres and celebrity sightings, but some of the big brands that use Cannes to highlight their luxury wares are planning to be there in force and studios are tentatively planning to have some kind of presence on the Côte d’Azur, though it will be much reduced.

Cannes usually takes place in May, but it is being delayed by two months in the hopes that COVID cases will decline and vaccination rates in Europe and elsewhere will climb. That has meant, however, that the festival is unfolding in the middle of the busy summer tourist season, which means that the resort’s venues are in high demand.

The events may also have to include some new safety precautions, something amfAR alludes to in its announcement.

“The gala is one of the world’s most successful benefit events and the most coveted ticket in town during the Cannes Film Festival,” the press release reads. “This year we can only accommodate a limited number of guests, making the event more exclusive than ever.”

This time only 400 guests will be allowed, less than half of what the event usually attracts. Presumably capacity restrictions may be an even bigger barrier to entry than the eye-popping ticket prices.

Marc Malkin contributed to this report.

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