Agnès Varda, the pioneering French New Wave director of films like "Cléo From 5 to 7" and Faces Places,” has died at the age of 90.
Varda passed away after battling breast cancer. In a statement, her family confirmed the news, calling her a "joyful feminist” and “passionate artist.”
"The filmmaker and artist Agnes Varda died from a cancer at her home in the night of March 29, 2019, surrounded by her family and friends," they said.
In 2017, Varda was awarded an honorary Oscar, a Governors Award, becoming the first female director to receive the accolade. The next year, her film "Faces Places" was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award.
She made her first film, 1955's "La Pointe Courte" with no formal training and on a shoestring budget.
Varda often used her own life in her work, including her new autobiographical documentary “Varda by Agnes," which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival just last month.
Her innovative, cutting edge stylistic touches actually predated the French New Wave.
"Varda is sometimes referred to as the godmother of the French New Wave," Roger Ebert wrote in 2012. "I have been guilty of that myself. Nothing could be more unfair. Varda is its very soul, and only the fact that she is a woman, I fear, prevented her from being routinely included with Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, Chabrol, Rivette, Rohmer and for that matter her husband Jacques Demy."
Varda is survived by her children, Rosalie Varda and Mathieu Demy.