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Varda by Agnès

dir. Agnès Varda


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Agnès Varda, sitting on the stage of a theater, breaks down the most important moments of his career as a filmmaker, making an introspection of the processes that the film takes to make memorable films such as "Homeless and lawless" (1985). "Varda by Agnès" is the latest production by the pioneer of the French New Wave, a non-fiction feature film made a few months before her death: an involuntary farewell letter.

Director / Agnès Varda, Didier Rouget Writters / Agnès Varda, Didier Rouget Producers / Rosalie Varda, Dany Boon, Joëy Faré Cinematography / Claire Duguet, François Décréau, Julia Fabry Sound / Boris Chapelle, David Chaulier, Alan Savary Editors / Nicolas Longinotti, Agnès Varda

Documentaries, 115 min.


Agnés Varda was born in Ixelles, Belgium in 1928 and grew up alongside four brothers and sisters. In 1940, her family moved to the south of France to escape the war. Agnès Varda spent her teenage years in Sиte then moved to Paris where she studied at the École du Louvre and took evening classes in photography at the École de Vaugirard. Agnиs Varda became a photographer for Jean Vilar when he founded the Avignon theater festival in 1948, then for the Théâtre National Populaire at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. She held her first personal exhibition in 1954 in the courtyard of her home.That same year, Agnès Varda made the move to cinema without any formal training. She founded Cine Tamaris (a cooperative) to produce and direct her first feature, LA POINTE COURTE,which has earned her the title "Godmother of the French New Wave." She has since directed short films and features, both fiction and documentaries. In 2003, she began her third career as a visual artist at the Venice Biennale.She lives on RueDaguerre in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. Agnès Varda was married to filmmaker Jacques Demy (deceased in 1990) and together they raised Rosalie Varda-Demy, costume designer and producer and Mathieu Demy, actor and filmmaker.


  • 2019 – VARDA BY AGNÈS
  • 2017 – FACES PLACES
  • 2005 – CLEO DE 5 A 7
  • 1985 - VAGABOND

Festivales y Premios

  • 2019 Berlinale
    Berlin International Film Festival
    Out of Competition
  • 2019 TIFF
    Toronto International Film Festival
  • 2019 CPH:DOX


In 1994, with a retro at the French Cinémathèque, I published a book entitled VARDA BY AGNÈS. 25 years later, the same title is given to my film made of moving images and words, with the same project: give keys about my body of work. I give my own keys, my thoughts, nothing pretentious, just keys.

The film is in two parts, two centuries.

The 20th century from my first feature film LA POINTE COURTE in 1954 to the last one in 1996, ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS. In between, I made documentaries, features, short and long.

The second part starts in the 21st century, when the small digital cameras changed my approach to documentaries, from the GLEANERS AND I in 2000 to FACES PLACES, co-directed with JR in 2017. But during that time, I mostly created art installations, atypical triptychs, shacks of cinema and I kept making documentaries, such as THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS.

In the middle of the two parts, there is a little reminder about my first life as a photographer.

I’ve made a wide variety of films in my life. So I need to tell you what led me to do this work for so many years.

Three words are important to me: Inspiration, creation, sharing.

INSPIRATION is why you make a film. The motivations, ideas, circumstances and happenstance that spark a desire and you set to work to make a film.

CREATION is how you make the film. What means do you use? What structure? Alone or not alone? In colour or not in colour? Creation is a job.

The third word is SHARING. You don’t make films to watch them alone, you make films to show them. An empty cinema: a filmmaker’s nightmare!

People are at the heart of my work. Real people. That’s how I’ve always referred to the people I film in cities or the countryside.

When you film something, a place, a landscape, a group of people, even if the subject is specific, what you shot indicates your deepest project. 

I like to bring together reality and its representation. But I also like to juxtapose moving images and still images, in video and in photography.

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