Indigenous B.C. filmmaker says he was refused entry on Cannes red carpet for his moccasins
A Dene filmmaker says he was “disappointed” and “close to tears” when security at the Cannes Film Festival blocked him from walking the red carpet while dressed in a pair of moccasins.
Kelvin Redvers, a Vancouver-based producer who attended Cannes as part of a delegation of six Indigenous filmmakers, says he was refused entry to the carpet for Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's “Les Amandiers” last Sunday because festival staff didn't approve of his traditional Indigenous footwear.
He says he was only allowed to walk the carpet if he swapped out his moccasins for a pair of formal shoes that Cannes deemed appropriate.
Redvers obliged, but he says he hopes speaking out about his experience leads Cannes organizers to rethink what counts as formal wear when it comes to representing different cultures on their red carpets.
“Whenever there's an opportunity - if there's an award show or a special event - it's really important for me to be able to bring in a bit of my Dene heritage,” he said.
“My goal was to wear my suit, and my bowtie and my Dene moccasins, which are formal, they're cultural. And they're still sort of elegant and classy. I had no reason to believe that they wouldn't fit on the red carpet.”
Cannes is notoriously strict about formalwear at many of its red carpet premieres - requiring a black tie for men and evening gowns for women - however, some traditional formal wear is accommodated, such as Scottish kilts and Indian saris.
The festival once outlined some of the formalwear expectations on their website, but in recent years - after a number of controversies, including one involving women wearing flats instead of heels - the official guidelines have all but disappeared online.
Before the Sunday screening, Redvers says he gathered with his fellow filmmakers to take photos in their tuxedos and moccasins. The group, who were in Cannes with the support of Telefilm, the Indigenous Screen Office, and Capilano University's FILMBA program, then headed to the red carpet.
After getting past the first security checkpoint, Redvers pulled off his pair of street shoes and stepped into his moccasins. That is when security at a second checkpoint stopped him.
Various levels of Cannes red carpet officials were brought in to assess the situation, Redvers says, while a French-speaking member of his cohort tried to explain to security, “this is cultural wear, this is traditional. They were just not hearing it.”
“Eventually one security guard just hit his breaking point,” Redvers says.
“He just switched and was ... furiously demanding immediately that I leave, in an aggressive and angry tone, saying, 'Leave, leave, you must leave now.”'
Representatives for the festival did not respond to requests for comment.
After the heated moment, Redvers decided he still wanted to attend the screening, so he took off his moccasins and went into the theatre.
“I was so disappointed, like, it was actually distracting during the movie,” he says.
“I just couldn't stop thinking about not being allowed to represent my culture on the red carpet on this world stage.”
“I was pretty close to tears and quite upset,” he added.
After members of Telefilm and the Indigenous Screen Office complained to Cannes about the treatment the filmmakers received, Redvers says leadership agreed to meet with them and apologize for the negative experience.
“I think it was a productive meeting,” he said.
“It's an educational time because they just didn't understand what moccasins were and why they were important. (They) just kind of thought of them as slippers, which is what they said a few times.”
Cannes officials invited him to wear his moccasins at the red carpet premiere of David Cronenberg's “Crimes of the Future” the following night. When one security guard rejected his footwear at that screening, a higher-up staff member intervened and let him onto the carpet.
“That was probably the most satisfying moment of the festival,” he says.
“To be able to rock the mocs on the red carpet.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2022.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Thousands of people wearing red and white and waiving Canadian flags packed downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 155th birthday on Friday, while groups of protesters popped up around Parliament Hill to protest COVID-19 vaccines and federal restrictions.
Biden intends to nominate a conservative, anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, Kentucky Democrats say
U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.
Canada Day has kicked off the unofficial start of summer, and the tourism sector is hopeful the first season in three years largely free of COVID-19 restrictions will marshal a much-needed boost for a pandemic-stricken industry.
A California man has posted a widely-shared video in an attempt to educate people about the monkeypox virus outbreak, to encourage people to get vaccinated if they're eligible and to make it very clear: 'You do not want this.'
Moving toward reconciliation doesn't come from jumping 'the queue to perfection,' but by building bridges and trusting one another, Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk told CTV News Channel during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on Friday.
In the wake of last year’s discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools and the prominent displays of the Canadian flag during 'Freedom Convoy' protests, some Canadians are re-evaluating the meaning of the national symbol.
'Not going to happen in our lifetime': First-time homebuyers share their struggles with purchasing a home
A recent survey shows nearly 50 per cent of Canadians who rent expect to do so forever. As rising interest and inflation rates contribute to a sense of pessimism among first-time homebuyers in Canada, some are sharing their struggles with purchasing their first house.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to recommit to the country’s values, including respect, hope and kindness, in his official Canada Day message.
The Assembly of First Nations says an Ontario court has rejected a bid by National Chief RoseAnne Archibald to overturn her recent suspension.
A Vancouver Island real estate agent has lost his bid to recover a deposit he made on a new Ford Mustang that he intended to offer as a prize in a year-long contest in 2020.
A search for two "suspicious" men in Saanich Thursday afternoon ended with no risk to the public, police said.
There was more frustration for BC Ferries passengers at the Horseshoe Bay terminal Friday, with some waits extending upwards of five hours at the outset of the long weekend.
Thousands of Calgarians gather for restriction-free Canada Day festivities with focus on reconciliation
Friday marked the first Canada Day in two years without any public health restrictions, which meant Calgarians were finally able to gather at several in-person events across the city.
Members of Calgary’s Vietnamese community gathered Friday at The Journey to Freedom Park to celebrate the unveiling of a meaningful monument.
The Flames lost their longtime organist Friday, when Willy Joosen died.
From drumming circles, charity runs, to a healing walk, Edmontonians found a way to celebrate their country or reflect on its past in a manner that felt right to them.
An explosive comeback will light up the Edmonton sky Friday night as Canada Day fireworks return to pre-pandemic proportions.
A local beekeeper is asking for help to rescue a colony of honeybees from a junior high school.
Ontario drivers experienced some relief from record-setting prices at the pump on Friday as the province's gas tax cut came into effect.
One of Toronto’s Canada Day fireworks displays has been cancelled and another has been postponed after a vendor pulled out at the last minute.
Three people are dead, and two others are seriously injured, including a child, in a collision in Brock Township.
A prominent housing advocacy group fears Quebec could see an increase in households left without a permanent place to live as leases expire across the province on July 1.
Environment Canada is advising severe thunderstorms could bring high winds, large hail, and heavy rain to several areas in south-central Quebec Friday.
A group of Indigenous people in Quebec expressed disappointment and concern Friday after learning that only 400 seats will be reserved for residential school survivors at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré during Pope Francis' visit on July 28.
In-person Canada Day festivities made a return on Friday for the first time since the pandemic started, with residents bringing back old traditions and creating new ones.
A pro-choice rally was held at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday -- a week after Roe v. Wade was reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Officers with the Manitoba RCMP have confirmed that a body was found in the Assiniboine River on Thursday.
Canada Day will look a little different in Saskatoon as things move downtown.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
The City of Saskatoon will be running 46 summer play programs from July 4 until August 25.
The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Canada Day celebrations for the past two years. But on Saturday, the red and white was back in full force in Regina with events all around the city.
Both the City of Regina and the provincial government remind travellers to stay safe due to the increased number of people travelling for the Canada Day long weekend.
Regina police responded to an early morning report of a break and enter into a business on the 3700 block of Eastgate Drive East on Friday.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
With his wife Joyce on his arm, Tom Hennessy left Victoria Park in London, Ont. to complete his 100-mile walk to raise money for homeless veterans.
After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics was back Friday in London.
Close to 1,000 people are at Victoria Park in London, Ont Friday morning for the second annual Turtle Island Healing Walk.
Hundreds of people lined up for free hot dogs and for fun in the suds in Hollinger Park in Timmins on Canada Day. The event was hosted by the City of Timmins and the Timmins Community Park Association.
The Sudbury Wolves have selected two players from Slovakia in today’s 2022 CHL Import Draft.
For Ukrainians who were able to flee from Russia's invasion into the country, Canada has become a safe haven.
Emergency service workers in the Region of Waterloo kicked off a friendly competition Friday to see which team can donate the most blood by Labour Day.
OPP are trying to identify a man who they say was involved in an "unwanted residential paving incident" in Puslinch, Ont.
Waterloo Region held its first in-person Canada Day celebrations since 2019 and there were several local events for residents to show off their Canadian pride.