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Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala With Leo Dicaprio, the Weinsteins, Justin Bieber and a $35 Million Wooly


By Mikey Glazer

Behind several barricaded residential streets in Antibes, a peninsula about thirty minutes away from Cannes, an international cross section of rich-but-not-famous, famous-but-not-uber-wealthy, and the rare hybrid in the sweet spot of that glitzy venn diagram hunkered down Thursday night at the Hotel du Cap to raise $35 million dollars.

Thank artist Damien Hirst for nearly half of that and thank Robin Thicke and Lana Del Rey for performances.

Hirst dipped a wooly mammoth skeleton in gold to make the world's most expensive extinct terrarium. No school field trips to the natural history museum for this piece of history. A bidder made the piece go extinct for $15 million.

Also read: Good Morning Cannes, Day 9: Kristen Stewart Shines, Justin Bieber Behaves and Quentin Tarantino Complains

"Gone But Not Forgotten" is going, going, gone for $15 million. Right, Damien First salutes. (Left, amfAR twitter, right by Getty Images)

Jessica Chastain knew what she was up against. "I can't compete with these people to be honest," Chastain says as she arrives, waving the white flag in advance . "I would love to walk out with a piece of Damien Hirst art, but impossible with my independent film salary."

See photos: Cannes Party Report's Scene and Heard: Notable Quotables From on the Croisette

(Getty Images)

It's a scene where amfAR rookie John Travolta casually spills the beans about a surprise performance by Andrea Bocelli and ponders my suggestion that he should auction off a ride in his plane, Justin Bieber shouts that he is there "to swag," Bollywood's Brangelina couple (who brought amfAR to India last November) happily stops to chat, and millionaire bearded bad boy of Instagram Dan Bilzerian goes from posting near-naked photos of his yacht-mate bed buddies earlier in the day to mixing with Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda after disembarking.

Bilzerian tells TheWrap: "I've had 500 offers" for reality shows.

Also read: Inside Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Premiere in Cannes (Photos)

Kylie Minogue, Lara Stone, and Jane Fonda behind the du Cap, and David Glasser with his fraternal +1. (Andreas Rentz/amfAR14/WireImage)

Race-car driver Lewis Hamilton strolls in with on-again girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, (both British tabloid fixtures), in town to race at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. (Connecting the dots, his racing team Mercedes is also an amfAR sponsor).

Meanwhile: Sharon Stone cries.

See video: Sharon Stone Cries on the Red Carpet at amfAR

Marion Cotillard OK's Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger for her table. (Gisela Schober/German Select for Mercedes-Benz)

Adrien Brody correctly pins the night as "part of the ritual of Cannes" as he makes his first of two arrivals. He would sternly tell his handler that he wanted to go back outside to sign for fans before making a second entrance.

"I've seen so many interesting and different films," festival Juror Jane Campion says. "They all have a chance," she deflects. No need for her to deflect her dinner mate, billionaire Len Blavatnik. (Dave M. Benett/amfAR14/WireImage)

The annual Cinema Against Aids gala falls with most people heading out of town on Friday, so it's also a time to assess and evaluate the week.

Harvey, Bieber, and Lana Del Rey -the rare photo without a Bieber security thug lurking. (Dave M. Benett/amfAR14/WireImage)

For Harvey Weinstein, a host of the night with TWC and COO David Glasser, it's a first glimpse of the finish line. He is still rattling off insights about "protease inhibitors" despite going through back-to-back late night negotiations.

"I'm just starting to get sleep now," Harvey Weinstein tells TheWrap around 7:15 p.m. "That's why I like amfAR. After this is done, then I sleep."

The nap will have to wait. He still has one late-addition to the schedule, Friday night's 20th anniversary celebration for "Pulp Fiction." "That's super cool," he smiles. "My adrenaline will keep me up," he promises before heading off with wife Georgina Chapman.

Bar Rafaeli's pal Moran Atias punks Bar's new friend in the yellow dress. (Dave M. Benett/amfAR14/WireImage)

Meanwhile David Glasser, along with his brother in tow  on Thursday, is fueling up to head around the world. One stop: film market in Japan by way of a stopover in Los Angeles for the weekend.

Weinstein's partners Chris Woodrow and Molly Connors at Worldview are also marking the end of the festival with some self-reflection.

"We had three films in the festival last year and nothing was received as well as "The Search," Conners tells me.

This surreal gathering is not a dream sequence from "Inception": Marion Cotillard and Leonardo DiCaprio. (ascal Le Segretain/amfAR14/WireImage)

Conners and Woodrow first found "The Search" director Michel Hazanevicious ("The Artist") when "Harvey and Glasser" got them tickets to a screening at TIFF 2011, though they would not begin screening "Search" footage with the director until last November in Paris. Woodrow called hosting amfAR one of his personal highlights of the week.

Usually in these types of mega events, a sponsor gets exclusivity in their category (e.g. vodka, automotive, film company) but here there were two independent production companies on the masthead. Along with Worldview, Gary Michael Walters' Bold Films (Gosling's "Lost River", Sundance winner "Whiplash") also stepped up to take a leadership role on the masthead.

"We always win," Conners quipped, squashing my inquiry in to any philanthropic arms race between producers.

Like Worldview and "The Search," Walters is also coming off a week of mixed reviews for a film, Ryan Gosling's "Lost River."

Walters with brothers Victor and Sammy Hadida, who distribute Lionsgate's films in France. (Mikey Glazer)

When I asked how he approached Tuesday night's high profile premiere after a day of Twitter one-upsmanship amongst critics ripping in to the film, Walters does not flinch.

"We have one agenda and one definition of success. Our standard is 'Did our filmmaker, did Ryan Gosling, make the film that he dreamed of making?'. The answer is a resounding 'yes'," he tells me. "Therefore for us, the film is a triumph. We are 'Bold Films', not 'What Do You Think Films'. In a town of followers, we are leaders. The movie was made modestly. It does not need to make $100m to be a financial success."

While nine figures would of course be nice, he does have several pots on the stove too.

"I got reverse mugged this year," Walters tells me of selling both the Jake Gyllenhaal film "Nightcrawlers" and Owen Wilson action movie "The Coup" at this year's fest. "Both films in post, not for sale, and I got reverse mugged. Every buyer is like 'take our money.'"

Also read: 10 Cannes Winners and Losers (So Far): Robert Pattinson Scores as Ryan Gosling Bores

New Friends: amfAR CEO Kevin Frost and Conchita Wurst. (Mikey Glazer)

Nearby, Kevin Frost, amfAR CEO, made friends with Conchita Wurst, the "bearded-lady" who went viral around the world after winning the Eurovision song contest.

As early arrivers like racing heir Tamarra Ecclestone (also likely headed to the Grand Prix) and U.S. nightclub owner Ronnie Madra trickled in Frost whipped out his phone to show Conchita pictures of his twins, born seven weeks ago.

With several cameras capturing the moment, Frost accepted my suggestion that he was inducing a reality show moment. "We could take this to Bravo," he said.

"That would be great," reality show veteran Conchita agreed.

Nearby, Hofit Golan, an Israeli model who may not have missed a single red carpet in Cannes but was working here for Fashion TV, is humblebrag complaining of her nipples being exposed in an over-bedazzled dress.

"What up, mama," Michelle Rodriguez greeted her.

Kellan Lutz has been here all week. Michelle Rodriguez is a new face, and Jessica Chastain does not use her hands for bidding. (Getty Images)

You would be mistaken for thinking the night was instead called "Fashion Against AIDS". Every name that a non-WWD newsletter subscriber like me did not know is a supermodel. Forty names all changed in to red to walk a catwalk and auction off all of their worn dresses as one lot.

We are the World: Karlie Kloss Brit Jourdan Dunn, French creative Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Aussie Jessica Hart, Czech Karolina Kurkova, Brit Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Belarussian Maryna Linchuk and big on instagram South Korean Soo Joo Park auctioning the dresses off their backs. (AFP/Getty Images)

"Every event gets better because I make more friends," 19-year old L.A. native Gigi Hadid says.

"I like when they mix business and pleasure," Bar Rafaeli added.

Business, pleasure, and $35 million. This cast of characters made it look easier than getting tears from a Stone.

(Getty Images)

BVLGARI, Heidi Klum, former French first lady Carlla Bruni-Sarkozy, Milla Jovovich, Kelly Preston, Aishwarya Rai, and Abhishek Bachchan were amongst the host committee.

TheWrap's Party Report from Cannes is appropriately presented by a festive partner, Stella Artois, the official beer of the Cannes Film Festival for 13 years. 

The post Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala With Leo Dicaprio, the Weinsteins, Justin Bieber and a $35 Million Wooly Mammoth (Photos) appeared first on TheWrap.

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