Cannes: Indigenous Director Wearing Moccasins Initially Turned Away From Film Premiere

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Canadian Indigenous filmmaker Kelvin Redvers was initially turned away from a red carpet screening of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Dene director was stopped after he showed up wearing hand-made moccasins with the requisite tuxedo. After an intervention by the Telefilm Canada, the Canadian film financier, and the Indigenous Screen Office, which led a delegation of First Nation filmmakers to Cannes, Redvers was allowed into the gala screening for Cronenberg’s film, where he wore his moccasins

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“It was hurtful and I was quite shocked, but I’m glad the festival saw the importance of me representing my culture and celebrating that at the gala. I look forward to seeing more cultural representation at festival red carpet events without incident,” said Redvers in a statement on Thursday.

Kelvin Redvers - Credit: Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers
Kelvin Redvers - Credit: Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers

Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers

Representatives for Redvers, who was not available for direct comment on Thursday as he flew back to Canada from Cannes, said the filmmaker sought to “represent his culture proudly” and that moccasins fell outside the criteria for traditional clothing that Cannes allows on the red carpet.

The ISO said it offered to give Cannes Marché du Film’s secretary general François Desrousseaux more examples of Indigenous attire so it could update its red carpet fashion policy.

“The Indigenous delegation had an incredibly positive experience at Cannes so it was disappointing to see a delegate turned away at a red carpet event. The Cannes leadership responded swiftly and we greatly appreciated the end result and the opportunity to exchange dialogue and cultural understanding. We look forward to continuing our presence at the festival,” Kerry Swanson, co-executive director of the ISO, said in her own statement.

Kelvin Redvers - Credit: Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers
Kelvin Redvers - Credit: Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers

Courtesy of Kelvin Redvers

Redvers, an actor and director based in Vancouver with Crosscurrents Productions, his production banner, is in post production on Cold Road, a feature thriller he wrote and directed, and he also helmed three episodes of the Moosemeat & Marmalade TV series.

He is also developing another feature thriller, Don’t Look Down.

Cannes organizers were not available for comment.

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