amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Matt Dillon, Christina Ricci, and Mandy Moore Help Raise $1.9 million in Support of amfAR’s Vital HIV/AIDS Research Programs at Third Annual Cinema Against AIDS Dubai

Event Held Under The Patronage of HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein

Presented by the Dubai International Film Festival

Sponsored by Dubai Pearl

Co-Sponsored by Cartier

 

Media Contacts: Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director, Communications, (212) 806-1607 or bennah.serfaty@amfar.org; Natalie Jacobs, Coordinator, Media Relations, +971 4 406 8786 (Dubai); 212-806-1694 (New York) or natalie.jacobs@amfar.org 

Dubai, U.A.E., December 11, 2009—Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein, presented by the Dubai International Film Festival, and sponsored by Dubai Pearl, amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Dubai raised US $1.9 million on December 10.

Matt Dillon, Christina Ricci, and Mandy Moore traveled to Dubai on behalf of amfAR, where they joined Special Chair Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Abdul Majeed Ismail Al Fahim, Louis Ferla, Milutin Gatsby, and Dubai International Film Festival Chairman Abdulhamid M. Juma to raise critical funds and awareness for amfAR’s lifesaving HIV/AIDS research programs.

Christina Ricci opened the event, thanking guests for their support of amfAR’s work and reminding them that “today, five and a half thousand people died of AIDS. Our best hope—our only hope—for ending this epidemic is research.”

Abdul Majeed Ismail Al Fahim, Chairman of Dubai Pearl, also spoke to the crowd, saying, “AIDS remains a very serious global, social issue about which most people continue to be poorly informed. By sponsoring an event of this stature, we are delighted to join hands with amfAR, one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations, to help rid the world of this pandemic. We consider it our moral responsibility to further the fight against AIDS by educating the global community and extending support for medical research in this area.”

The black-tie gala took place in a stunning outdoor setting under The Gate at the Dubai International Financial Centre. Guests were treated to a moving special performance by actress and acclaimed singer Mandy Moore.

Following Moore’s performance, Christina Ricci helped kick off the much anticipated live auction.

Matt Dillon encouraged guests to bid on a Bellagio Residence, courtesy of Dubai Pearl. This unique piece of real estate sold for US $1.3 million. 

Santosh Joseph, CEO of Dubai Pearl, said, “We sincerely congratulate the buyer for selecting something as priceless as this Bellagio Residence that will be a retreat unto itself. We are sure that he will be enjoying the timeless elegance offered by Bellagio. We would also like to welcome him to Dubai Pearl’s community, where well-being is balanced through a seamless ‘work, play, stay, live’ experience.”

Dillon also sold a limited-edition Santos 100 watch, a diamond-paved timepiece with an enameled Arabian horse motif, courtesy of Cartier, for US $60,000. Actors Mostafa Fahmi, Kirk Fox, Samir Ghanem, Raja al Jadawi, and Elham Shaheen also supported the live auction by introducing some of the exclusive items for sale in support of amfAR.

A unique necklace, entitled “Sentiment of a Knight,” inspired by a poem written by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was one of the highlights of the auction. The limited-edition, completely handmade 18k gold necklace embedded with 7.0 carats of diamonds sold for US $110,000.

As the gala drew to a close, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost spoke about his recent trip to Cambodia, where he toured sites in amfAR’s TREAT Asia network. Frost shared photos of his visits with children orphaned by AIDS, and he expressed steadfast hope that a cure for AIDS---a cure for these Cambodian children and the 33 million others now living with HIV---will come through innovative research.

Frost asked members of the audience to consider supporting amfAR’s work providing lifesaving treatment to HIV-positive children in Cambodia by making a donation of US $2,000. Thirty guests joined Frost onstage in solidarity, raising a total of US $60,000.

amfAR’s first Cinema Against AIDS benefit was held in Cannes during the 1993 International Film Festival and hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s founding international chairman. Taylor was one of the first in Hollywood who spoke out about HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s. Since then, amfAR has had a long tradition of increasing awareness and raising funds for this cause all over the world. Sharon Stone, amfAR’s global fundraising chairman, now carries on what Elizabeth Taylor began by traveling internationally for the Foundation and tirelessly working to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and support for AIDS research.

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 consistently successful events worldwide. Cinema Against AIDS has also been held on various occasions during the Rome, Venice, Sundance, and Toronto film festivals.

Since 1993, these signature amfAR benefits have played a pivotal role in focusing attention on the continued fight against AIDS and have generated more than $48 million in support for the Foundation’s AIDS research programs.

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 the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $290 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

Dubai International Film Festival

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 with the theme “Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds.”

DIFF, held under the honorary chairmanship of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organized by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

As the previous editions of DIFF have demonstrated, the festival not only presents cinematic excellence from around the world, but is also an important high-profile platform for aspiring home-grown talent. In 2006, DIFF introduced the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema to reward and inspire filmmakers of Arab origin.

“Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds” has been hailed as a unique and relevant theme to promote better understanding and mutual respect between different communities and countries.

Since its inception, DIFF has become an important meeting point for international and regional filmmakers and industry professionals, setting the foundation for potential future collaborations.

The sixth edition of DIFF takes place December 9–16, 2009. For any further information and regular updates on DIFF 2009, please log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com.

Dubai Pearl

Dubai Pearl is a US$3 billion, world-class, mixed-use development by Pearl Dubai FZ LLC. Located opposite the Palm Jumeirah in the heart of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, a state-of-the-art business cluster operated by TECOM and home to global IT and media companies.

Dubai Pearl is a landmark destination offering spectacular views of the Dubai coast.  The development will redefine the pulse of new Dubai, providing a 24-hour living city with commercial, retail, residential, and leisure facilities.  Designed with people in mind to create a year-round walkable environment, the Dubai Pearl will service the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone and its communities.

Set for completion at the end of 2010, Dubai Pearl’s prime location will offer an unparalleled combination of free-hold in the convenience of a free zone with luxury, energy efficient sustainability, and state-of-the-art technology.

Cartier

Since the Cartier LOVE bracelet was introduced 30 years ago, it has become one of the most coveted jewelry designs in the world.

Over the past three years, the iconic Cartier LOVECharity bracelet has become a symbol of the French jeweler’s commitment to supporting various noble causes throughout the world, raising significant funds for sixteen different charities through the sales of this special bracelet.