French director born in Melle (Deux-Sèvres) in 1961.
After studying photography in Marseille, Laurent Cantet was admitted to the IDHEC in 1984. There, he met future filmmakers Robin Campillo and Gilles Marchand, whom he subsequently collaborated with consistently. After graduating, he worked as a director of photography on short films, before shooting two of his own, including Tous à La Manif (Prix Jean Vigo 1995). In 1999, he directed The Sanguinaires, within the framework of the ARTE collection “2000 vu par...”, then Human Resources, which won the César for Best First Film. Time Out and Heading South were to follow, before the consecration of The Class, based on the novel by François Bégaudeau, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2008. He then shot his first film in Canada, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, then Return to Ithaca in Havana.