amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Award of Courage

David Furnish

New York Gala 2010 Honoree

David began his career in advertising in Toronto, Canada, before moving to London, England. After 11 years in advertising, he became a filmmaker in 1995 by directing the BAFTA nominated documentary Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras.

He set up the film production company Rocket Pictures with backing from the Walt Disney Company. Its first production was Women Talking Dirty starring Helena Bonham Carter and Gina McKee. Next up was the successful teen comedy It’s A Boy Girl Thing starring Kevin Zegers, Samaire Armstrong, and Sharon Osbourne. Rocket is currently in production with a major animated feature called Gnomeo & Juliet, a comic love story set in adjoining English gardens due for release in 2011.

In 2000, David came up with the concept of turning the Oscar-nominated film Billy Elliot into a stage musical. Together with the film’s original production and creative teams, he worked with Elton John to develop the stage musical. He then acted as executive producer for the multiple award-winning productions in London, Sydney, and New York.

Rocket Pictures recently produced the critically acclaimed television series Spectacle: Elvis Costello talks with… for the Sundance Channel. Guests on the series included The Police, Elton John, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Rufus Wainwright, Renee Fleming, President Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, and Smokey Robinson.

David enjoys art, music, film, and writing, and is a contributing editor for British GQ. Along with his partner Sir Elton John, he is a director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised nearly $175 million. Since 1995, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has provided $1.3 million in support for amfAR’s programs. David is also a trustee for The Old Vic Theatre.

Elton and David entered into a civil partnership in the royal town of Windsor on December 21st, 2005, the first day that civil partnerships could be performed in England.