On September 15, 2009, amfAR – The American Foundation for AIDS Research – and Dignitas International will partner on the first-ever Cinema Against AIDS event during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and amfAR Ambassador Michelle Yeoh will serve as chairs of the evening, along with amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, John Demsey, Milutin Gatsby, Trudy Grant, amfAR Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim, Dignitas co-founder Dr. James Orbinski, and Kevin Sullivan. Grammy Award-winning musical artist Sarah McLachlan will deliver a special performance.
The black-tie gala will take place at the acclaimed Carlu in Toronto, and will include cocktails, dinner prepared by renowned Canadian chef Jamie Kennedy, and a luxury live auction. amfAR and Dignitas will share all proceeds from the event, funding that will benefit crucial AIDS research initiatives and efforts to improve quality of life for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Over the years, amfAR has awarded 52 grants to HIV/AIDS organizations in Canada, totaling more than US$2.6 million, making Canada the recipient of more amfAR funding than any countries except the U.S. and Australia.
amfAR’s first Cinema Against AIDS benefit was held in Cannes during the 1993 Cannes International Film Festival and was hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s Founding International Chairman. Since then, this annual black-tie gala has established itself as the most consistently exciting and well-publicized party held during the Cannes festival. In addition to Dame Elizabeth, who has hosted the benefit on seven occasions, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone has been a chair and auctioneer since 1995.
Cinema Against AIDS has also been held on various occasions during the Venice, Sundance, Rome, and Dubai film festivals, and in all cases these events have attracted a stunning guest list of top celebrities, entertainment industry elite, and international society. Traditionally, celebrities in the room assist with the live auction. Participants have included Ben Affleck, Prince Albert of Monaco, Lance Armstrong, Mary J. Blige, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Sofia Coppola, Penelope Cruz, Matt Damon, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sheryl Crow, Carla Fendi, Andy Garcia, Richard Gere, Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Anjelica Huston, Elizabeth Hurley, Iman, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Wyclef Jean, Scarlett Johansson, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Kline, Diane Kruger, Diego Luna, David Lynch, Madonna, Sienna Miller, Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue, Clive Owen, Robert Pattinson, Sean Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Lionel Richie, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Kurt Russell, Claudia Schiffer, Julian Schnabel, Monica Seles, Mira Sorvino, Sylvester Stallone, Rod Stewart, Quentin Tarantino, Charlize Theron, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Weinstein and Robin Williams, among others.
The film and entertainment communities have been committed and generous supporters of amfAR and the fight against AIDS since the start of the epidemic, and the Cinema Against AIDS galas have proven to be among the most high-profile and successful AIDS benefits worldwide. Since 1993, these signature amfAR events have played a pivotal role in focusing attention on the continued fight against AIDS, and have generated more than US$48 million in support of the foundation’s AIDS research programs.
Ticket info can be found here.