Women are being encouraged to ditch high heels and plunging necklines for a more relaxed look at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Actor and scriptwriter Anna Brüggemann, best known in her native Germany for Heil (2015) and Move (2012), has said that she will probably be wearing, “a skirt, sneakers and a turtleneck sweater” to this year’s Berlinale and has encouraged other women to follow suit.

She has started an online petition which criticises the unwritten conventions of the red carpet. Brüggemann told The Guardian: “The red carpet is like a throwback to the 1950s.”

”Women are expected to squeeze into tight-fitting, low-cut dresses and totter on impossible heels in order to serve the gaze of those who’ll judge whether they are marketable or not.” She added: “It’s time we had different images to look up to, of headstrong, unconventional women.”

Brüggemann has said that her fashion choice this year was in response to the current climate: “When #MeToo happened, and all these beautiful Hollywood actresses said ‘it’s time for more equal rights and we should all be feminists’, I thought, well, equality begins when we women really stop thinking about our bodies as something we have to improve.”


Berlin is known for being one of the more politicised and liberal film festivals, in contrast to Cannes, which saw reports in 2015 that women were turned away from the red carpet if they were not wearing heels.

This year, Berlin has introduced a “safe space policy” in order to tackle any harassment and discrimination. This will include hotlines for people to be able to report any harassment and discrimination that they may experience or witness.