The very wealthy and very glamorous gathered – as they so often do – at the AmfAR gala and auction of the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday evening.
Held at the Arsenale, the city’s famous historic former shipyard complex (and now a major venue – Campari held a gala there the night before), the event saw supermodels rubbing shoulders with movie and TV stars and, of course, some financially well-endowed individuals. And all this to raise money for AmfAR’s work in the fight against AIDS.
Among the names in attendance was Jodie Turner-Smith, who happened to be celebrating her birthday the same day and kicked off the proceedings by yelling, “I see a lot of rich people here!” Others who took the stage to introduce several lots for the auction included Heather Graham, Rachel Brosnahan, Marisa Tomei and Patricia Clarkson. There were also Sarah Ferguson, Trace Lysette and Egyptian singer Youssra, while Casey Affleck (in town for the world premiere of Dreamin’ Wild) and his partner Caylee Cowan appeared for photos on the red carpet.
During the live auction, Monika Bacardi was the first to put her hands in her bag and pay 250,000 euros ($249,000) for a collection of framed portraits of figures such as Andy Warhol, John Lennon and Elizabeth Taylor. The biggest splurge of the evening was a metal sculpture that sold for 1 million euros ($999,000). In total, barely 3 million euros ($2.9 million) was raised, slightly less than the smashing AmFar event in Cannes, which raised more than $19 million this year.
After the auction – and a three-course dinner – British singer Ellie Goulding took the stage for a live set of ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ‘Burn’.
Sponsors of the event included Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival, Campari and movie app Picticular.