Cannes Film Festival security reportedly stopped amputee for wearing flats on red carpet

A film director who has had part of her left foot amputated said security guards at the Cannes Film Festival tried to turn her away because she was not wearing high heels on the red carpet.

Valeria Richter told BBC5 Live that she was stopped four times on the way into Gus Van Sant's “Sea of Trees” premiere on Saturday.

"They pointed their finger at my shoe and then were waving their fingers at me. It was quite obvious it was my shoes that was an issue,” she told BBC5 Live. "Obviously, I could wave my foot at them and that would make the situation a little awkward for them, because I had a visible explanation [for not wearing heels]."

Richter said she was eventually allowed in to the film screening but she knew of women in flats who were denied entry.

"Many of my colleagues who can't wear heels were rejected and did not come in."

Screen International reported that several women were refused entry to Sunday's premiere of Todd Haynes' '50s lesbian romance "Carol" for wearing flats as well. On Tuesday, actress Emily Blunt called the report "very disappointing, obviously."

"Everyone should wear flats, to be honest, at the best of times" said Blunt, who was there to premiere the Mexican drug war thriller "Sicario." "You kind of think that there's these new waves of equality."

Some were already calling the incident "Shoegate." Asif Kapadia, the director of the Amy Winehouse documentary "Amy," added on Twitter that his wife was also initially refused entry to his film's Cannes premiere Saturday because she wasn't wearing heels. She was eventually allowed in.

The red carpet at Cannes is highly regulated by tradition. Men must wear tuxedos with bow ties and black shoes, and women are expected to wear dresses with heels. The dress code isn't explicitly spelled out by the festival but is enforced by security guards or "hosts."

Festival spokeswoman Christine Aime implied that festival staff had made a mistake with their strict take on flats.

"There is no specific mention about the height of the women's heels as well as for men's," Aime said of Cannes' dress code. "Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the festival's hosts and hostesses were reminded of it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.