ANTIBES, France (AP) — Robert De Niro was the honored guest at the 28th annual amfAR Gala Cannes, where one lucky guest won an auction to have lunch with the actor and a piece of his family history.
One of the most anticipated events of the Cannes Film Festival, over 800 guests attended Thursday’s exclusive dinner, auction and after party at the Hôtel du Cap, Eden Roc in Antibes where guests were entertained with performances from Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin and Charli XCX.
The night began with a glitzy red carpet. Tom Hanks who stars in the new “Elvis” movie from Baz Luhrmann attended with the director. Cara Delevingne, Casey Affleck, Cynthia Erivo, Diplo, Edgar Ramirez, Eva Longoria, Milla Jovovich, Vanessa Hudgens, Elsa Hosk, Jourdan Dunn and Winnie Harlow were also among the guests.
Ricky Martin opened the proceedings with a lively medley of his hits and as guests tucked into dinner the bidding started on a selection of once in a lifetime experiences up for auction.
De Niro kicked off the bidding on the lunch with him and by the time it was over, 500,000 euros ($537,025) had been raised to support amfAR’s AIDS research efforts. The lunch will be at one of De Niro’s New York restaurants and the lot includes a piece of art by a painting by his father Robert De Niro Sr., a celebrated abstract expressionist painter.
Another guest paid 1.2 million euros ($1,288,860) for an exclusive evening with tenor Andrea Bocelli and his family only to have his bid matched by another guest for another 1.2 million euros and a 2nd evening was offered by the family. The lot was introduced with a surprise performance from Andrea’s son Matteo Bocelli. The successful bidders will host a dinner party for 12 at one of his homes in either North Miami Beach or his mansion in Forte dei Marmi on the Tuscan coast where they will get a private musical performance.
The night also included the annual designer fashion show curated by Carine Roitfeld. After the models strutted down the catwalk through the tables, the whole collection of 40 outfits was auctioned off for 800,000 euros ($859,240).
Other lots included diamond jewels, exclusive luxury holidays and original artwork including a Jeff Koons sculpture that will be permanently installed on the moon paired with a unique NFT which fetched 2.1 million euros ($2,255,518).
Aguilera was the last artist to take to the stage at the end of the dinner, blasting out her hit singles Including “Dirrty” and “Beautiful” in a black fur cape as guests danced between the tables.
The amfAR Gala Cannes has raised $245 million for amfAR’s lifesaving AIDS research programs.