Fundraiser For Haiti Relief At Cannes Film Festival

In a rare move for a film event notorious for not working with others, the Cannes Film Festival will host a gala dinner to benefit humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. The “Carnival in Cannes” gala dinner on Friday, May 18 will be hosted by Sean Penn, Paul Haggis, Petra Nemcova and Giorgio Armani and funds raised will go to support Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice and Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund. While an AMFAR benefit has taken place at Cannes for over a decade to raise monies for AIDS research, it has always been a separately run affair and never had the active cooperation of the Cannes organization. In fact, the Festival has only been intimately involved in two similar events. In 1984, the Festival held a gala benefit screening of the Sergio Leone gangster epic ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA to raise monies for the Pasteur Institute. In 1996, the Festival also hosted a charity screening of Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s film ELECTIVE AFFINITIES to support the reconstruction of La Fenice, the historic opera house in Venice, Italy which had been almost totally decimated in a fire. The Haiti initiative is expected to raise millions of dollars in relief aid in what will certainly be one of Cannes’ most star-studded events.

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