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20 Jul 09
Agnes Varda as a guest of the 9th IFF ERA NEW HORIZONS in Wrocław
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Agnes Varda, one of the most important personalities of contemporary French cinema, will be a guest at the 9th IFF ERA NEW HORIZONS in Wrocław (23 July - 2 August 2009).

Her latest film - an autobiographic collage made to celebrate her 80th birthday - The Beaches of Agnes (Les plages d' Agnes) will compete in this year's FILMS ABOUT ART International Competition. The director will attend the Polish premiere of the film and she will meet with the audience (screenings on 28th and 29th July 2009).

In this film autobiography, she takes her audience for a journey through different internal landscapes. We can see beaches which symbolise her childhood in Belgium, her marriage to Jacques Demy (director of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - Les parapluies de Cherbourg), her years of feminist struggles, journeys, and emotions related to making her films. In her film diary, she enchants her past, showing family photos, fragments of films, staging crucial events of her life, enriching all this with an ironical commentary.

Agnes Varda, sometimes a classical director and sometimes a representative of the avant-garde. A rebellious hippie and an enfent terrible - always saying out loud what she thinks. A feminist who loves and is inspired by her family. Author and producer (Ciné-Tamaris). Screenwriter.

Agnes Varda was born in Brussels in a family of Greek origin. She spent the greatest moments of her childhood on the northern beeches, in Ostend and Knokke Le-Zoute. She lived on a cutter in the French Sète. She started her professional career as a photo-journalist, she also worked at Jean Vilar's Théâtre National Pupulaire. She debuted in 1956 without any professional experience, making La Pointe Courte. Journalists of Cahiers du Cinéma announced this film as an innovative piece of art, heralding a new trend - the French New Wave. Her following films - the famous Cleo from 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 a 7) and the provoking Happiness (Le bonheur) strengthened Varda's position in the New Wave milieu. In 1962 she married the well-known French director Jacques Demy.

In spring 1967 they both went to the United States for an American review of their films. She managed to make two documentaries abroad: Uncle Janco (Oncle Yanco) and Black Panthers as well as an experimental feature film Lions Love. After return to France and four years of silence she directed a documentary about her neighbours: Daguerréotypes (the title refers to the rue Daguerre in Paris, where the artist has lived for many years).

In 1977 she astonished the French audience with the powerful feminist film One Sings, the Other Doesn't (L'une chante, l'autre pas). In 1979 she went again the USA with her husband. She made a documentary about wall murals Mural Murals (Mur murs) and the feature film Documenteur: An Emotion Picture (Documenteur) about a Frenchwoman abandoned by her partner and living with her son in Los Angeles. In 1984 she directed a documentary-imitating feature film which won the Golden Lion of Venice in 1985 - Without Roof or Rule (Sans toit ni loi), starring Sandrine Bonnaire. Two years later, her cooperation with the actress and singer Jane Birkin brought two works: Jane B. for Agnes V. (Jane B. par Agnes V.) and Kung-fu master! In the 1990s, after Demy's death Varda made three memory films about him: the feature film Jacquot de Nantes and documentaries The Young Girls Turn 25 (Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans) and The Universe of Jacques Demy (L'univers de Jacques Demy). She is also the creator of a humorous fantasy A Hundred and One Nights of Simon Cinema (Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma), celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of cinema. In 2000 the French and international audience admired her modest documentary made with a digital camera, entitled The Gleaners & I (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse), supplemented then with The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse... deux ans apres).

One of the retrospectives at the 6th festival Era New Horizons was devoted to Agnes Varda.

More info about the festival:

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Femininity will be one of the leading issues at this year's festival Era New Horizons.

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