Award-winning French director Laurent Cantet died on Thursday at the age of 63. Cantet, who received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival in 2008 for his film “Entre les murs” (English title “The Class”), died after an illness, his agent Isabelle de la Patellière told the French news agency AFP. The documentary, with many amateur actors, told of the multicultural everyday life of a school in Paris, where a teacher tries to teach children with a migrant background the French language. The director was working on a film project titled “L’Apprenti” (The Apprentice), which was scheduled to be released in 2025.

The Cannes festival reacted with shock to the death of the director and screenwriter and praised his “coherent and humanistic work” with which he contributed to socially relevant cinema. The committed artist and dogged humanist Cantet had the deep conviction that cinema could change paths.