Cannes Film Festival denies entry to women wearing flat shoes
Cannes Film Festival faced controversy on Tuesday after it emerged that security guards had turned away women who were not wearing heeled shoes.
Victims of the policy include the wife of a film director, numerous members of film companies in Cannes for work, and at least one woman who wore flat shoes for medical reasons.
During the Sicario press conference, British actress Emily Blunt commented on the discrepancy: “That’s very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality. Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels.”
Also critical of the dress code was Asif Kapadia, director of the Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, which premiered in Cannes last week. Kapadia tweeted that his wife had initially been denied access to the screening because of her footwear but was eventually allowed in.
Film company Independent’s head of sales and junior assistant were both turned away from the Carol premiere for wearing “beautiful” shoes which they joked had a “lack of sass”.
Valeria Richter, a film producer and scriptwriter, was rebuked on the red carpet with a group of friends for Gus Van Sant’s Sea of Trees premiere last week, for wearing flat shoes despite amputation. Richter told the Telegraph she had been stopped four times by festival officials over her footwear, which was chosen to support her after she lost a big toe and part of her left foot two years ago.
Equal opportunity has been a key factor in many of the films in this year’s festival selection. For the first time in 28 years, a movie directed by a woman opened the event, and Cannes organisers are hosting a UN conference into equality on the red carpet. Ironically, Carol, the film to which many flat-wearing guests were not permitted, also carries a strong feminist message.
Screen Daily stated the festival “did confirm it is obligatory for all women to wear high heels to red carpet screenings”, when questioned, although this is not clear on invitations.
The hashtag #cannesheels is now trending in the UK, with many film fans furious at these “sexist rules”.