The amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, returned to the Venice Film Festival to host a benefit dinner at the Arsenale.

The exclusive evening included a socially distanced cocktail reception and dinner at water’s edge in the Arsenale. After dinner and wine courtesy of Boroli, guests were transported by gondola to enjoy the program from a floating stage on the Venetian lagoon. The program featured a musical performance by Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Nicole Scherzinger.

Nicole Scherzinger

Guests in attendance included Cynthia Erivo, Emile Hirsch, Dylan Penn, Ferzan Ozpetek, Jeremy Piven, Julian Lennon, Andres Velencoso, Sveva Alviti, Sarah Gadon, Sara Battaglia, Alexander Nanau, Adrienne Lau, Frida Aasen, Lara Leito, Leonie Hanne, Maia Mitchell, Mohammed Al Turki, Nina Senicar, Olivia Culpo, Rakan Abdulwahid, Carlo Capasa, Stefania Rocca, Simone Haggiag, Sofia Resing, Thom Evans, Umberta Gnutti Beretta, Valery Kaufman, amfAR Trustee Jay Ellis, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost and more.

Jay Ellis and Nina Senicar opened the evening with remarks about the vital need for a cure for HIV, as the virus continues to infect thousands of people worldwide each day. amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost also took the stage to speak about the great strides made in AIDS research since the last amfAR Venice event 20 years ago and highlighted the importance of continuing to support amfAR’s work. Frost also spoke of amfAR’s decision to expand its work in early 2020 to support scientists racing to find a way to treat COVID-19 and to further understand its effects on people living with HIV.

The evening continued with a live auction that included a variety of artworks and one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences, many of which were introduced by celebrities. Highlights of the auction included a vintage Campari poster by artist Carlo Fisanotti, a weekend stay at the San Clemente Palace, and Mick Jagger’s jacket from the Rolling Stones’ Coachella 2016 performance.

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 invested nearly $600 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,500 grants to research teams worldwide.