amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sat 25-Oct-2008

Media Contacts: Bennah Serfaty, Senior Dir. Communications, bennah.serfaty@amfar.org; Natalie Jacobs, Coordinator, Media Relations, (212) 806-1694, natalie.jacobs@amfar.org

Stars Gather in Rome to Raise Funds for amfAR's AIDS Research Programs

Event presented by BMW Italia, Campari, Missoni, Studios SRL, the Luxury Collection, and Vanity Fair, in collaboration with Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma

Rome, Italy, October 25, 2008—Eva Green, Gael Garcia Bernal, Mena Suvari, Alan Cumming, Dominic Cooper, Matthew Modine, Mira Nair, Hayley Atwell, Cheyenne Jackson, Michael Pitt, Carol Alt, and Lapo Elkann were among those who came out to support the fight against AIDS last night for the second annual Cinema Against AIDS gala in Rome. The event, held in collaboration with Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma, raised nearly $700,000 for amfAR’s AIDS research programs. BMW Italia, Campari, Missoni, and Studios SRL sponsored the event, along with hotel partner the Luxury Collection and media partner Vanity Fair.

Among other guests who attended the gala at the Galleria Borghese were Angela Missoni, Margherita Missoni, Ottavio Missoni, Rosita Missoni, Isabella Orsini, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Ferruccio Ferragamo, Dean and Dan Caten (DSquared), Roberta Armani, Roberto Bolle, Luca Calvani, Beatrice Carbone, Andrea Castronovo, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Greta Cavazzoni, Beppe Fiorello, Claudia Gerini, Silvia Grassi Damiani, Vanessa Hessler, Francesca Inaudi, Vanessa Incontrada, Robert Koren, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Lucrezia Lante della Rovere, Cristina Lucchini, Valeria Marini, Eliana Miglio, Laura Morante, Alessandra Moschillo, Saverio Moschillo, Silvio Muccino, Giorgio Pasotti, Violante Placido, Vittoria Puccini, Claudia Santamaria, Rodrigo Santoro, and Yvonne Sciò.

Acclaimed actress Mena Suvari welcomed the crowd and introduced Broadway star and dedicated amfAR supporter Cheyenne Jackson, who performed a soulful version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost thanked the international community for their support, and stressed the continued importance of cutting-edge research to combat an increasingly global epidemic. Frost then introduced award-winning actor Matthew Modine, who presented a short film about the history and accomplishments of amfAR, which highlighted the vision and principles of its programs.

Actor and long-time amfAR supporter Alan Cumming then took the stage as emcee of the live auction, which was conducted by Rodman Primack of Philips de Pury. Cumming enlisted the support of various personalities to introduce each of the auction lots.

Dean and Dan Caten of fashion house D Squared challenged other bidders in the crowd for a classic Campari advertisement by famed artist Leonetto Cappiello. The Catens won the piece for €27,500.

Later in the evening, Mr. Cumming was urged by Ms. Suvari to auction off a spontaneous performance. After a bid of €5,000, he obliged with a rendition of William Finn’s “What More Can I Say.” Michael Pitt and his band mates then closed the program by performing two original songs.

Other highlights of the live auction include:

Actor Gael Garcia Bernal escorted Marghertia Missoni onstage, where she modeled a made-to-measure Missoni dress and Bauletto Missoni Estate 2009 honey python handbag with navy leather edges, both designed by Angela Missoni. Inspired by the energy in the crowd, Mr. Garcia Bernal added an impromptu salsa dance lesson to the package, which sold for €6,000. He immediately took the winner for an expert spin around the stage.

Mena Suvari modeled an ice cube Chopard watch in gold with a satin black silk watch strap, which sold for €5,000.

The Luxury Collection package–which included four nights in an exclusive suite for two at the luxurious Hotel Pitrizza, hidden along Sardinia’s private and tranquil Costa Smeralda–sold for €12,000. A romantic candle-lit dinner on the suite’s private terrace and dinner in either the Hotel Cala di Volpe or Hotel Romazzino, two of the Luxury Collection’s other hotels, were also included in the package.

An archival print of Douglas Kirkland’s Marilyn Monroe, 1961, signed by the artist, sold for €25,000. The photo, one of the last that was taken of the actress, was originally printed in Vanity Fair.

A Joseph Kosuth neon light installation, entitled Axis of Successions [Isabella’s Subtext] III, sold for €15,000.

Andrea Castronovo, president of BMW Group Italia, offered up a one-day lesson with BMW World Touring Car Championship driver Alessandro Zanardi on one of the most famous Italian race tracks, which sold for €21,500.

A bidder paid €10,000 for a day with Lapo Elkann, a package that included lunch for four with Mr. Elkann at his Torino home, a private visit of the Pinacoteca Giovanni and Marella Angelli, guided by Ginevra Elkann, and a visit to the famous Lingotto racetrack.

After the auction had closed, Luxury Collection president Robert Koren spontaneously invited bidders to a VIP luncheon at Rome’s St. Regis Grand Hotel the next morning with Roberto Bolle, Margherita Missoni, Beatrice Carbone, and amfAR CEO Frost. Ten people bid €500 each for the chance to attend.

About amfAR

amfAR's annual Cinema Against AIDS galas have been important and successful fund-raising events for the Foundation since 1993, generating nearly $44 million for essential AIDS research. Past events have been hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, and Sir Elton John.

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $275 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

amfAR recognizes American Airlines for its commitment to the fight against AIDS and its generous support for amfAR’s mission.