ROME – Pioneering French auteur Agnes Varda, often called the “Mother of the French New Wave,” will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival with its Pardo d’onore Swisscom lifetime achievement award.
The Belgian-born Varda, 85, has directed more than 30 films over a career spanning more than six decades, starting with her 1954 “La Pointe Courte,” with Philippe Noiret, also at his debut. Edited by Alain Resnais, this pic about a young Parisian couple spending a few days in a village on the Mediterranean coast to decide whether to stay together or not became a defining influence on the next generation of Gallic directors.
The tribute to Varda from the Swiss fest dedicated to indie and cutting-edge cinema will comprise screenings of a wide selection of her films, including “Cleo from 5 to 7,” (1962); “The Creatures” (1966); “Lions Love (…and lies),” (1969); “Documenteur,” (1981), “Vagabond” (1985); “The Gleaners and I” (2000); “The Beaches of Agnes” (2008); and the short “Oncle Yanco” (1967); as well as the five episodes of the TV series “Agnes de ci de la Varda” (2011).
The Locarno audience will have an opportunity to meet Agnes Varda during a public onstage conversation.
Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian in a statement praised Varda for making formal experimentation and freedom “an invariable hallmark of her work.”
“Varda reminds us that film is a creative act that implicates the subject behind the camera –or directing it – both emotionally and politically,” Chatrian noted.
Previous recipients of the Locarno nod include Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Sidney Pollack, Abbas Kiarostami, William Friedkin, Jia Zhang-ke, Alain Tanner and, in 2013, Werner Herzog.
Agnès Varda is the second woman to be awarded the Pardo d’onore, following Ukrainian director Kira Muratova in 1994.
Locarno will announce its lineup July 16.
The 67th edition of the lakeside fest in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland will run August 6-16.