Laurent Cantet_646177645_Credit Tania Volobueva-Shutterstock

Source: Tania Volobueva/Shutterstock

Laurent Cantet at Cannes in 2017

French filmmaker Laurent Cantet, whose 2008 film The Class won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2008, died on April 25 at the age of 63.

The acclaimed filmmaker was planning to shoot his next film Enzo, co-written by Robin Campillo and produced by Anatomy Of A Fall producer Marie-Ange Luciani, later this year. 

Cantet’s agent Isabelle de la Patellière confirmed to French media the filmmaker “died this morning in Paris from an illness.”

The Class is a Paris documentary-drama based on a semi-autobiographical book by François Bégaudeau set in a French classroom about a teacher in a tough Parisian neighbourhood that starred a mostly unprofessional cast.

Cantet’s last film was Arthur Rambo, about a writer who gets into trouble for his inflammatory social media content, that premiered at Toronto 2021. He was also behind Foxfire: Confessions Of A Girl Gang that played at Toronto 2012, and Return To Ithaca, which was selected for Venice and Toronto in 2014.

His death has come as a shock to the French film industry and homages have begun to pour in for the beloved director. Former Cannes Film Festical head Gilles Jacob called Cantet “a fine, discreet filmmaker full of humanity, not dazzled by his Palme d’Or win” in a post on X (Twitter), adding “Laurent Cantet succeeded with precision and a sense of rhythm in what is the most difficult thing in cinema: filming conversations, in other words, life. I have the utmost respect for him.”