Director of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Fremaux, has denied reports that a group of women were turned away from a red carpet event for not wearing high heels.
According to a story that appeared in Screen magazine, at a screening of Cate Blanchett’s film Carol on Sunday, “multiple guests, some with medical conditions were denied access for wearing rhinestone flats”.
The publication went on to report that the festival “declined to comment on the matter, but did confirm it is obligatory for all women to wear high heels to red-carpet screenings.”
Amid a backlash on social media, Fremaux has taken to Twitter to refute the claims, stating, “the rumour that the Festival requires women to wear high heels on the steps is unfounded.”
@marcmissonnier Pas du tout. Et la rumeur selon laquelle le Festival exige des talons hauts pour les femmes sur les marches est infondée.
— THIERRY FREMAUX (@THIERRYFREMAUX) May 19, 2015
The official festival website confirms this, listing the dress code as “black tie/evening dress” for gala screenings, adding that “smart dress is sufficient” for all other screenings. There are no official rules for footwear.
However, a number of attendees have since spoken out on Twitter to report their own experiences at this year’s festival, including Amy director Asif Kapadia whose wife was eventually admitted onto the red carpet.
@muirkate happened to my wife (eventually let in)— asifkapadia (@asifkapadia) May 19, 2015
Yesterday a producer got to the red carpet and was told she had one hour to change. From flats into heels, that is pic.twitter.com/k78tWjQzKX— Anna Mikhailova (@AVMikhailova) May 17, 2015
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Sicario director Denis Villeneuve said that he and his male cast – which includes Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro – will stage a demonstration by wearing elevated footwear to their premiere later this evening. “Benecio, Josh and I will walk the stairs in high heels tonight,” he told reporters.
Appearing at the same event, the trio’s Sicario co-star Emily Blunt called the reports “very disappointing”.
“Everyone should wear flats, to be honest,” she said. “We shouldn’t wear high heels anyway, that’s my point of view. I just prefer wearing Converse sneakers.”
You can guarantee the cameras will be trained on the cast’s footwear as they make their way up Cannes’ famous stairs later tonight.