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Around the selection 2015 : Palme d'honneur

© Ciné-Tamaris



Agnès Varda is to receive an honorary Palme d’or during the Closing Ceremony of the 68th Festival de Cannes. Previously, only Woody Allen, in 2002, Clint Eastwood, in 2009, and Bernardo Bertolucci, in 2011, have been granted this supreme distinction by the Board of Directors of the Festival de Cannes. The award is given to renowned directors whose works have achieved a global impact but who have nevertheless never won the Palme d’or.



Agnès Varda was born in Ixelles (Belgium) in 1928, to French parents, and spent her childhood in Belgium with her four brothers and sisters. When war broke out in 1940, the family fled to the south of France. She spent her teenage years in Sète then Paris – where she completed her baccalaureate – at the École du Louvre and in evening classes in the photography section at the École de Vaugirard.
Since 1951, she has lived in rue Daguerre in Paris’ 14th arrondissement.
She was married to the director Jacques Demy, who died in 1990.
Together they brought up Rosalie Varda-Demy, the costume designer and artistic director and Mathieu Demy, the actor and director.

In the 1950s, Agnès Varda became a photographer for the Avignon Festival created by Jean Vilar and the French National Popular Theatre, whose cast included stars such as Gérard Philipe, Jeanne Moreau and Philippe Noiret.
She reported from China, Cuba, Portugal and Germany, as well as creating number of personal portfolios.

In 1954, five years before the emergence of the New Wave, Agnès Varda created the Ciné-Tamaris production company for her first feature film, La Pointe courte, which later earned her the moniker "Grandmother of the New Wave".
The best-known of the 36 films written and directed by Varda, including both shorts and feature films, documentaries and works, include: Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961), Vagabond (1985), Jacquot de Nantes (1991), The Gleaners and I (2000) Les Plages d’Agnès (2008), and Agnès de-ci de-là Varda (series, 2011: travels and encounters with artists).

Films selected at the Festival de Cannes:
- In Competition: Cléo from 5 to 7 in 1962
- Out of competition: Jacquot de Nantes en 1991, The Gleaners and I in 2000, Cléo from 5 to 7 in a restored version at Cannes Classics in 2012
-Selection for Un certain regard: Mur Murs en 1981, Ulysse in 1983, Les Demoiselles ont eu 25 ans in 1993.

Jury for the Competition Festival de Cannes in 2005.
President of the Jury for the Caméra d’or at the Festival de Cannes in 2013.

Selected prizes:
Silver Bear at Berlin and Prix Louis Delluc for Le Bonheur, Golden Lion at Venice for Vagabond, César for Ulysse, 1984 and Les Plages d’Agnès, 2009, European Film Award for The Gleaners and I, 2001 and Les Plages d’Agnès, 2009, etc/

Honorary prize:
César 2001, Prix du cinéma René Clair from the Académie française in 2002, Carrosse d’Or from the SRF in 2010, Locarno Festival in 2014, European film Academy in 2014.

In 2003, at the Venice Art Biennial, Agnès Varda began her life as a "visual artist" (she prefers the English term to the French artiste plasticienne), installations, videos and photographs.

Selected works include Veuves de Noirmoutier, Le Triptyque de Noirmoutier, Paroles de squatteurs, Bouches du Rhône, Le Puzzle des bacheliers, Le Tombeau de Zgougou, Ping-pong, tong et camping, La Mer immense and La Petite mer immense and La Cabane de cinéma made using film reels…

Varda has featured in collections at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art contemporain, MOMA in New York, Musée Paul Valéry in Sète, Fondation Bernard Magrez, FRAC de Lorraine, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, the Hubei Art Museum in Wuhan and the LACMA de Los Angeles, etc.

Today, the work of Agnès Varda combines, alternates and auto-referentially features her photography, cinema, video and space.

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