The filmmaker Laurent Cantet will receive this year the Award of the 16th San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival. The prize ceremony will be at the Victoria Eugenia Theater on Friday 27 at 20:00, at the Closing Night of the Festival, where it will be screened the new film directed by Cantet, The Workshop (2017).
The trophy, made by the Basque artist Aitor Mendizabal, is a copy of the monolith Oroimena – Memoria in memory of all the victims.
Laurent Cantet (Melle, 1961) is one of the most celebrated French filmmakers in the last two decades. His films have been screened at the most prestigious festivals on the planet and have won numerous awards, building one of the most interesting and satisfying bodies of work in today's European panorama.
Cantet's work, starting with his earliest films, is courageous and committed, portraying images of the contemporary world. Loneliness, lack of communication, education, migration, the current European political situation, inequalities in the workplace, terrorism and cultural diversity are themes that have appeared since his first films Les Sanguinaires (1997), Ressources humaines (1999) and his stunning L'Emploi du temps (2001).
After a look at twenty century tourism in Vers le sud (2005), in 2008 Cantet released one of his most successful films, Entre les murs (2008), set in a secondary school in a multi-cultural working-class neighbourhood of Paris. Foxfire (2012) followed a group of young girls in 1950s USA, and in 2012 he directed an episode for 7 Days in Havana (2012), set during a week in the Cuban capital. In Retour à Ithaque (2014), Cantet reflects on life and the passing of time together with Leonardo Padura.
In his most recent film to date, L'Atelier (2017), revisits the world of youth and education.