Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

The Workshop 2017


Directed by Laurent Cantet World

Laurent Cantet (Human Resources, The Class) makes an enthralling return to form, drawing topical debate and socially conscious thrills from the true story of a writer intrigued and disturbed by a troubled student.

France In French with English subtitles
113 minutes CinemaScope / DCP




Denis Freyd


Robin Campillo
Laurent Cantet


Pierre Milon


Mathilde Muyard

Production designer

Serge Borgel

Costume designer

Agnès Giudicelli


Bedis Tir
Édouard Pons


Marina Foïs (Olivia)
Matthieu Lucci (Antoine)
Warda Rammach (Malika)
Issam Talbi (Fadi)
Florian Beaujean (Étienne)
Mamadou Doumbia (Boubacar)
Julien Souve (Benjamin)
Mélissa Guilbert (Lola)
Olivier Thouret (Teddy)
Lény Sellam (Boris)


Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2017

French writer-director Laurent Cantet, Palme d’Or winner in 2008 for The Class, returns with a suspenseful tale, based on a true story, about a writer’s relationship with a right-wing student who troubles and intrigues her.

“This story of a successful crime novel author who is invited to a small town to take charge of a writing project is part social survey, part political documentary, with the potential flicker of a love story and the touch of a thriller.

The Workshop conveys a stunningly authentic portrait of French youth today; their class, racial and occupational concerns. The seven young people in author Olivia’s (Marina Foïs) class represent a snapshot of France’s colorful young population, no intellectuals with writing experience among them (all are played by non-professional actors). Charged with producing a book to promote the image of La Ciotat, a small seaside town located in between Marseille and Toulon, Olivia soon discovers that the one subject which unites her students is murder – though they can’t quite agree on what kind of murder they should write about, or how to treat it.”— Dan Fainaru, Screendaily

“Cantet’s film combines the slow-burn suspense of his Time Out (2000) with the boisterous class dynamics of its most obvious predecessor, his 2008 Cannes top-prizewinner The Class. Ornery right-winger Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) fascinates his teacher, Olivia, and bugs his classmates, but rather than devolving into a drama about a troubled soul, the story only deepens with the mystery of talent, intentionality, and political fault lines.”—Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment