Dene filmmaker turned away from Cannes red carpet for wearing moccasins & More News Here

A Dene filmmaker says he was turned away from the red carpet on the Cannes Film Festival as a result of he was wearing moccasins.

Kelvin Redvers, who’s from the Northwest Territories and works in B.C., says he hopes the incident is a studying second for occasion organizers and that it helps broaden the pageant’s thought of what counts as formal put on. 

Redvers travelled to France as a part of a delegation of six Indigenous filmmakers with help from Telefilm, the Indigenous Screen Office, and Capilano University’s FILMBA program.

He was invited to a red carpet screening of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Les Amandiers. Cannes has strict guidelines round formal put on on the red carpet — black tie for males, night robes for girls — however there are lodging for conventional formal put on, similar to Scottish kilts or Indian saris.

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Redvers thought his moccasins, paired with a tux, would qualify.

Kelvin Redvers says he hopes his expertise at Cannes will begin a dialog amongst pageant organizers about their definition of formal put on. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

“For me, these moccasins are ceremonial, they’re formal, basically,” he mentioned on CBC’s On The Coast Friday. “So I’m going to wear a great tux, I’m going to look super good but I’m gonna insert just a little bit of Indigeneity.”

Redvers had the moccasins in a bag as he went via the primary safety checkpoint, he mentioned. He slipped them on and was then flagged by safety at a second checkpoint, who advised him he could not put on moccasins.

“I was like, ‘No, no. This is formal for me, I’m Dene,'” he mentioned.

A French-speaking member of Redvers’ cohort tried to debate the state of affairs with safety. Eventually, Redvers mentioned, a safety guard had had sufficient.

“I guess he hit his limit and rather aggressively, simply put his foot down, to ‘leave, leave, leave now, leave,'” he mentioned.

WATCH | Dene filmmaker on being turned away at Cannes for wearing moccasins

Cannes safety turned away this Dene filmmaker for wearing moccasins

Dene filmmaker Kelvin Redvers travelled to the Cannes Film Festival as a part of a delegation of six Indigenous filmmakers. Redvers says he was turned away from the red carpet as a result of he was wearing moccasins.


Redvers was ultimately allowed again on the red carpet after swapping footwear, however he mentioned the incident left him and his contingent upset.

“I really was quite shocked at this aggressive treatment for what was such a thing of excitement for me,” he mentioned.

Redvers, the Indigenous Screen Office and Telefilm met with pageant organizers, who provided an apology. He was then invited to put on moccasins to a red carpet screening of Canadian director David Cronenberg’s new movie Crimes of the Future on Monday. He mentioned he met some resistance upon arrival, however was ultimately waved via. 

Redvers says he hopes his red carpet expertise has began a dialog amongst Cannes officers in regards to the nuance of conventional formal put on.

Part of his run-in, he mentioned, might be attributed to the truth that so few Indigenous individuals have attended Cannes.

“I guess they just hadn’t had exposure to something like this pair of beaded moccasins with moose hide,” he mentioned.

He says he hopes that is altering, and provides that Cannes is greater than red carpets, it’s also a time to community. He says all six Indigenous filmmakers made business contacts that they’re hopeful will lead to funding and distribution offers for their initiatives. 

“All of us … are, we believe, so close to having our films premiere and just making a presence at festivals like this because we’ve all got great projects going on and there’s a lot of great talent coming up.”

CBC has reached out to the Cannes Film Festival for remark.

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