amfAR to Honor Ava DuVernay at Gala During Venice Film Festival  

Rita Ora and Leona Lewis to Perform

New York, NY, August 9, 2023 — amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will return to Venice on September 3, 2023, for its annual benefit gala during the film festival. Groundbreaking Filmmaker Ava DuVernay will be presented with amfAR’s Award of Inspiration at the event.

The black-tie gala dinner, which will take place at La Misericordia, will include special performances by internationally acclaimed singer songwriter Rita Ora and Leona Lewis and a live auction of contemporary artworks and one-of-a-kind experiences.

Partners of the event are Mastercard, event host, and The Red Sea International Film Festival, with Chopard as Signature Sponsor. San Clemente Palace is the official hotel partner.

“We are thrilled to be returning to Venice for what promises to be a festive evening raising funds to advance our lifesaving HIV cure research,” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s chief executive officer. “We’re delighted to be honoring Ava DuVernay with our Award of Inspiration and deeply grateful to our Chairs, sponsors and generous supporters for making this evening possible. In addition to warmly welcoming the support of Mastercard, we are indebted to our good friends at Red Sea International Film Festival and Chopard for their continuing generosity.”

Earlier this month, amfAR awarded new grants totaling $2.4 million to research teams in the U.S. and Europe working on a range of innovative gene therapy approaches to curing HIV. With the recent announcement that a sixth person may have been cured through a stem cell transplant, this is a time of great progress in AIDS research, made possible in part by events such as amfAR Venezia.

By partnering with amfAR and its exclusive fundraising gala once again, Mastercard confirms its commitment to projects that make a positive impact on society.

“We are very proud to support amfAR’s work in the fight against AIDS and this is a cause that, as Mastercard, we want to embrace. This initiative further consolidates our commitment to promoting a more fair and inclusive future, leveraging a joint approach with consumers and clients that builds on the innate sentiment of solidarity,” said Michele Centemero, Country Manager Italy, Mastercard.

The event will also be supported by Campari, Boroli Wines and RUMOR Rosé.

About amfAR
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 advocacy. Since 1985, amfAR has raised nearly $900 million in support of its programs and has awarded more than 3,800 grants to research teams worldwide.

About the Red Sea International Film Festival
Red Sea International Film Festival provides a platform for Arab filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world to connect, host feature and short film competitions, and present a series of events, masterclasses, and workshops to support emerging talent. Running alongside the Festival is the Red Sea Souk, the Festival’s industry market, designed for global exchange and partnerships between the international and Saudi film industries. The four-day market will offer a packed program of curated events to foster co-production, international distribution, and new business opportunities. The Souk offers unbeatable access to the new vibrant Saudi scene, as well as the best of the Arab market through pitching sessions, one-on-one meetings, screenings, industry talks, and networking events. For further press information:

About Mastercard,
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

Contact: Bennah Serfaty, amfAR Senior Director, Communications, Credential Requests: Melissa Rubenstein,