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LIZ LEADS WAY IN RAISING FUNDS FOR AIDS RESEARCH

Led by Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood stars galore gathered for a good cause on the French Riviera.

Capitalizing on the celebrity contingent here for the Cannes Film Festival, the Cinema Against AIDS 1996 benefit at the famed Moulin de Mougins restaurant raised $700,000 for AMFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.Taylor urged Americans at the gala "to send a clear and resounding message to our Congress" to support AIDS research so "the promising ideas of today become the solutions of tomorrow."

Other celebrities at the black-tie dinner included Cher, Elton John, Martin Landau, Woody Harrelson, director Robert Altman, and Cannes jury president Francis Coppola.

The evening began with the world premiere of the film "Emma." Cast members Jeremy Northam, Toni Collette, and Greta Scacchi were among the 300 guests at the dinner and benefit auction that followed.

Other celebrities dining on marinated monkfish, breast of chicken, and wild strawberry mousse included Tea Leoni, Patricia Arquette, and Mary Tyler Moore, cast members of "Flirting With Disaster," which closes the film festival in nearby Cannes Monday.