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An Amputee Claims She Was Turned Away From Cannes For Not Wearing High Heels

Film producer Valeria Richter lost part of her left foot and big toe two years ago.

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A Danish film producer, who had part of her left foot amputated, has claimed she was stopped on numerous occasions at the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing high heels.

Unidentified women wearing high heels on the red carpet at Cannes.
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Unidentified women wearing high heels on the red carpet at Cannes.

Valeria Richter was on the red carpet for Gus Van Sant's latest film, Sea of Trees, when officials said she could not enter the screening due to her footwear.

Reports of other women being turned away from films at Cannes this year for not wearing heels sparked outrage on social media yesterday.

The festival has since denied that high heels are part of any official dress code and staff had been reminded that guests wearing flat shoes should be allowed into all screenings.

The festival's director, Thierry Frémaux, also said on Twitter there was no mention of heels in the Cannes dress code.

@MarieMJS @muirkate Pour les marches, le règlement n'a pas changé: "Smoking, tenue de soirée". Aucune mention sur les "talons".

"For the red carpet, the rules have not changed: 'Tuxedo, evening wear'. Nothing said about 'heels'."

@marcmissonnier Pas du tout. Et la rumeur selon laquelle le Festival exige des talons hauts pour les femmes sur les marches est infondée.

"Not at all. And the rumor saying the Festival demands high heels for women to walk the red carpet is without basis."

Richter told the Telegraph she had been stopped four times during her attempt to watch Sea of Trees.

A woman walks the Cannes red carpet.
Tristan Fewings / Getty Images

A woman walks the Cannes red carpet.

The producer lost part of her left foot and big toe two years ago. She said a colleague, who can not wear heels because she has metal in her foot, was also stopped by festival officials.

"It is ridiculous. We are all working women who walk up and down the streets of Cannes all day doing business. They cannot force us to wear heels," Richter told the newspaper.

"We put on the dress and make an effort to be formal and festive, but to demand heels is not right."

Richter also told BBC 5 Live the amputation meant it hurt too much to wear heels and she couldn't keep her balance.

She admitted she found the whole thing, and the subsequent media storm a little bizarre.

"It just felt very silly, like I'd made some major offence or something," she said.

Yesterday, BuzzFeed spoke to another women who was denied access to Sea of Trees on Sunday evening.

The 21-year-old said she could not wear heels because she has problems with her ankles and back but a security guard told her she could not walk up the red carpet in flat shoes.