French directing legend Agnes Varda will receive the International Documentary Association (IDA) Pioneer Award for distinguished lifetime achievement at the annual IDA Awards gala benefit in Hollywood on Dec 13.

'The Pioneer Award is presented to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to advancing the non-fiction form,' says IDA President Michael Donaldson. 'Agnès Varda has earned the admiration of peers. Her documentaries are brave, personal interactions that reveal the filmmaker as well as the subject. She is a terrific example of how a filmmaker can use the camera to interface with her subjects as well as documenting human interaction.'

Varda, a native of Belgium but resident of France, made her first documentary La Pointe Courte in 1956 and has since made classic non-fiction films such as Jacquot De Nantes, a portrait of her late husband Jacques Demy, and Les Glaneurs Et La Glaneuse (The Gleaners & I) and its recently completed follow-up about the subjects of the first film - foragers for food.