The Hollywood A-list is leading a rebellion against the tyranny of high-heeled shoes, as Julia Roberts, seen here with George Clooney, Kristin Stewart and Susan Sarandon flouted Cannes Film Festival convention.

The actresses all went barefoot or in flat shoes for photo calls and film premieres.

Roberts, who made her first appearance in Cannes this year for her film Money Monster, posed for photographs in bare feet wearing an off-the-shoulder black gown. She appeared to have taken off her shoes midway down the red carpet, after arriving in heels.

Last year Cannes suffered huge controversy over an apparent policy dictating women must wear high heels on the red carpet.


Festival organisers denied such a policy existed, but female cinema-goers, including an amputee, reported how they had been turned away from film screenings after security deemed their flat footwear unacceptable.

Susan Sarandon walked the opening-night red carpet for Woody Allen's Cafe Society in smart black flats, and Kristin Stewart took off her shoes altogether for the customary photo call.

In the UK, a temporary worker was turned away by an agency for failing to wear sufficiently high shoes. MPs have rallied behind Nicola Thorp, with a petition running to make it illegal to discriminate against women for their choice of footwear or make-up.

Valeria Richter, a film producer who was rebuked for wearing flat shoes last year, said: "To see flats and bare feet sported by film stars on the red carpet on the first days of Cannes is a wonderful celebration of women being themselves."