Cannes 2022: Indigenous Filmmaker Turned Away For Wearing Moccasins

An Indigenous Canadian producer was removed by security for wearing traditional moccasins. He says he was made to feel like "a criminal" for representing his culture at the famous Cannes film festival.

Vancouver-based producer Kelvin Redvers was part of a contingent of Indigenous producers who were in Cannes for the first time, pitching their projects and enjoying the festival. Redvers, a member of the Dene Indigenous community, was about to walk the red carpet when he was stopped by the festival security.

"A fairly aggressive security guard got fed up, got right in my face, and said, ‘You need to leave now. Leave now. Leave now. Leave now. Leave!’" Kelvin Redvers told Variety.

"I was very confused and hurt; I felt belittled. I was being treated like a criminal for just trying to wear my formal traditional wear," he added.

Redvers was only allowed to return once he changed his shoes.

Cannes Officials Apologize / Dene Indigenous Moccasins Became Famous

The day following the incident, the filmmaker said he met with top festival officials who apologized and invited him to wear moccasins on the red carpet during the presentation of David Cronenberg’s "Crimes of the Future" last Monday.

To look at the bright sight of the moon, the Cannes Film Festival deeming moccasins as not "formal" enough gave Redvers the opportunity to promote his Indigenous culture, as the newspapers all over the globe wrote about the incident, making the moccasins famous.

"That day sucked. But it makes me so happy that folks are having a real conversation about Indigenous wear. Also, I am so happy that my sis Juniper's beautiful moccasins she made are famous! And maybe even sparking change in the world," Kelvin Rederrs wrote on Facebook

According to Variety, Cannes has had a long history of red carpet controversy, and in the past turned away women wearing flat shoes instead of high heels. Last week, Variety awards editor Clayton Davis has pulled aside for wearing a white tuxedo instead of a black or blue outfit.

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