Belgian director best known for documentaries The Gleaners & I and The Beaches of Agnès
At age 89 Agnès Varda is enjoying one of the finest years in her storied career, and it just keeps getting better.
In May her documentary Faces Places (Visages Villages), co-directed by artist JR, earned the "Golden Eye" award for best documentary at the Cannes Film Festival. And on Wednesday the Motion Picture Academy announced it would be awarding honorary Oscars to four distinguished veterans of the filmmaking community, including Varda.
Belgian-born Varda has been called the mother of the French New Wave.
Varda will receive her Oscar statuette at the Academy's Governors Awards on Saturday, November 11 in Hollywood, joining fellow recipients actor Donald Sutherland, cinematographer Owen Roizman and writer-director Charles Burnett.
"This year’s Governors Awards reflect the breadth of international, independent and mainstream filmmaking, and are tributes to four great artists whose work embodies the diversity of our shared humanity," newly-elected Academy President John Bailey said in a statement.
Varda's filmmaking career began in the mid-1950s, and she became one of the foremost figures in the French New Wave cinematic movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. She has directed both fiction and nonfiction films, but is perhaps best known for her documentaries including The Gleaners & I from 2000 and The Beaches of Agnès from 2008.
Among her other documentaries are Daguerreotypes (1976), and The World of Jacques Demy -- a 1995 film about her late husband, the director Jacques Demy.
Faces Places, which has been hailed by the New York Times, Indiewire, The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets, is set to debut in U.S. theater October 6.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.