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More from Cannes: Virginie Ledoyen, Charlotte Casiraghi, Natasha Poly, and the Haïti benefit dinner


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May 20, 2012/3.23




Vittorio Zunino Celotto/WireImage

Above At the Haïti: Carnival in Cannes benefit dinner: Virginie Ledoyen and Melissa George.

The Festival de Cannes has helped fund-raise this year for the earthquake victims in Haïti. The Haïti: Carnival in Cannes gala dinner was presented on Friday by Giorgio Armani, supporting Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Paul Haggis’s Artists for Peace and Justice, and Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts’ Fund.
   Guests photographed include Virginie Ledoyen, Melissa George, Jada Pinkett Smith, Joshua Jackson and Diane Krüger, Gerard Butler, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jessica Chastain, Jimmy Jean-Louis, and Lyle Lovett.
   The benefit is a rare event for Festival de Cannes. In 1984, it held a benefit screening of Il était une fois, l’Amérique, by Sergio Leone, to help the Institut Pasteur, and in 1996, it screened Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Elective Affinities, in support of the reconstruction of the Fenice.
   Giorgio Armani said in a release, ‘I am proud to stand alongside Sean Penn, a man cut from a very rare cloth. He first captivated me as an astonishing actor. Then as a respected director. Then as a loyal friend. And now, as a life changer. It is an honour to be a part of Sean’s remarkable life of service by joining his humanitarian efforts for the people of Haïti. For this to come to fruition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival marks a career milestone for me, and demonstrates what happens when you work with Sean, a world-class force of nature.’
   Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux added, ‘Sean Penn is a good friend of the Festival de Cannes, he came in competition as an actor and as a director, he was president of the jury. But it is not the only reason why we offered to receive him. We are greatly fascinated by his permanent and long-lasting commitment to Haïti’s recovery. And we are very pleased to be a part of this evening which intends to raise money and honour the Haïtians themselves.’
   Festival president Gilles Jacob said, ‘People say that a great actor is by nature egocentric, and that a great director is focussed on his art. Sean Penn is both a great actor and director. What he does above and beyond that for the people and the land of Haïti, giving freely of himself, his abiding presence, his work—one could almost say the work of his own hands—his whole discreet, human, moral and altruistic involvement as a benefactor, commands our greatest respect.’
   The dinner was overseen by chef Bruno Oger, of the two Michelin star Villa Archangel, with the help of Electrolux.
   A Haitian show entitled Carnival in Cannes will also present a concert of authentic RaRa and Racine music, created with the RAM band, Haïti’s leading Racine group, brought in for the occasion. The event will be co-sponsored by Chopard.
   Montblanc, meanwhile, notes that Ledoyen and Jean-Louis both wore Montblanc jewellery and watches to the dinner.
   Other celebrities spotted on the red carpet, whose photographs have since come in, include Charlotte Casiraghi, fourth in line to the throne of Monaco, wearing jewellery from Cartier; former ballerina and model Du Juan, in Montblanc, and Hofit Golan and Russian model Natasha Poly, wearing de Grisogono.
   Behind-the-scenes photographs of the meals and preparation can be found at Lucire Home.










Vittorio Zunino Celotto/WireImage


Vittorio Zunino Celotto/WireImage


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