Archived News

August 2015

Cannes Film Festival rejects amputees for not wearing high heels

Film producer, Valeria Richter, who has part of her left foot amputated was rejected from attending Cannes Film Festival "because she wasn't wearing high heels". Ms Richter, who wouldn't have been physically able to keep her balance with high heels after having her big toe and parts of her left foot amputated, was left appalled after being refused entry. What's more, Asif Kapadia - whose Amy Winehouse documentary premiered in Cannes last weekend, said his wife had been stopped on the red carpet for wearing flat shoes but was "eventually let in".

Ted Hill, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, says he is urging the film festival to reassess its expectations and policies, after what are clearly discriminatory acts against those with disabilities. He explains: "Our charity is one of Britain's first to focus on disabilities, and now with many members living with a legacy of immobility as a result of Polio, our focus on accessibility has never been more important. I have a duty to our members, many of whom are wheelchair bound or live with a severe reduction in mobility and it’s important that they are fairly represented in society.

The festival is now facing a barrage of protests supported by actress Emily Blunt against what many perceive as a discriminatory and sexist dress-code policy, even though Cannes's director, Thierry Frémaux, has denied that high heels are obligatory. "The rumour saying the festival insists on high heels for women on the red carpet is unfounded," he said in response to critics on Twitter.