Most Notable Movie: Cléo de 5 à 7 (1976)

All it takes is two minutes of observing the understated 84-year-old French filmmaker to get a feel for her films: eccentric, poetic, and youthful. A member of the Left Bank cinema movement, which was a contingent of the French New Wave of the '50s and '60s, Varda reflects an appreciation for other types of art outside of film into her movies, including photography and literature. Like Cléo de 5 à 7, an episodic masterpiece that follows her anxious heroine as she awaits confirmation of her possible cancer, Varda's movies (which she almost always writes herself) tell very simplistic slice-of-life stories that often recall themes of mortality, heartbreak and existentialism.

Her accolades include a Cesar Award for her breathtaking autobiographical 2009 documentary The Beaches of Agnès, and the Directors' Fortnight's 8th Carosse d'Or award for lifetime achievement at the Cannes Film Festival.