The Workshop

Fiction film The Workshop


On France's Mediterranean coast, a workshop led by Olivia (Marina Foïs), an author of popular thrillers, gathers six local students of varying backgrounds to communally craft a book suggested by their personal experiences. As outlier Antoine, who hands in increasingly violent texts for writing samples, comes into tense conflict with Olivia and other members of the group, the film uses his feelings of disenfranchisement to explore the fraught divisions in present-day French society. From the Palme d’Or-winning director of The Class (2008), Laurent Cantet.

"It's a film which demonstrates that debate, the exchange of ideas, can be as thrilling as any ramped-up action flick. As the students joust over what kind of a story they want to tell, almost unwittingly they reveal something about themselves and their relationship with their hometown. Deft handheld camerawork by Pierre Milon, who also shot The Class, captures the jostling tensions between a group of antsy teenagers, and the teacher who guides them." – Wendy Ide, The Guardian

"Cantet’s most impressive achievement is integrating the characters of his amateur performers, all of them young people from La Ciotat, with the parts they play, and using their input to refine these parts and enrich them. The use of several cameras for the entire shoot (a technique used in The Class) ensures that no detail of their performances is lost; indeed, these performances are the film’s most precious asset." – Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Laurent Cantet

Laurent Cantet received a César for Best First Work for his feature debut Human Resources (1999). Among his other films are Time Out (2001), winner of the Don Quixote Award at the Venice Film Festival; The Class (2008), which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d'Or and was a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee; and Return to Ithaca (2014), winner of the Venice Days Award at the Venice Film Festival. “I think that the film actually represents today’s youth in a fairly accurate way,” Cantet says of The Workshop. “Many of them are feeling abandoned, left to their own devices, isolated within their own communities, and I wanted to listen to them and give them a space where they can express themselves.” (Film Comment)

Film Details
  • Country(ies): France
  • Language(s): French
  • Year: 2017
  • Running time: 114
  • Director(s): Laurent Cantet
  • Producer(s): Denis Freyd
  • Writer(s): Laurent Cantet, Robin Campillo
  • Cinematographer(s): Pierre Milon
  • Editor(s): Mathilde Muyard
  • Music: Bedis Tir, Edouard Pons
  • With: Marina Foïs, Matthieu Lucci, Warda Rammach

Print Source:

Strand Releasing