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French Director Pascal Chaumeil Dies

Director of "Heartbreaker" and "A Long Way Down" had faced battle with cancer

French director Pascal Chaumeil has died aged 54 in Paris following a battle with cancer.

Chaumeil recently completed post-production on upcoming comedy drama “A Little Job,” which reteamed the director with Romain Duris, who starred in his biggest hit “Heartbreaker.” “A Little Job” sees Duris star as a factory worker who sees his life going rapidly downhill after the factory closes down and his girlfriend dumps him. One day a local bookmaker offers Duris’ Jacques a contract, to kill his wife for €20,000 ($22,500).

Romantic comedy “Heartbreaker” released in 2010 grossing over $47 million worldwide, including $31.9 million in France. It won five Cesar awards in 2011, including best film and best first film.

Chaumeil followed “Heartbreaker” with 2012 romantic comedy “A Perfect Plan,” which starred Diane Kruger and Dany Boon. His most recent film was the 2014 English-language adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel “A Long Way Down,” taking a humorous look at a group of suicidal strangers, which starred Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul, Toni Collette and Imogen Poots.

Prior to making his own feature directorial debut Chaumeil had worked as an assistant director and second unit director. His work included acting as first A.D. on Luc Besson’s hitman thriller “The Professional” before going on to serve as second unit director for Besson’s “The Fifth Element” and “Joan of Arc.”

“He really lived for cinema,” Chaumeil’s widow Camille told Agence France-Presse. “He dreamt of being a director from the age of 15.”

Chaumeil died on Thursday, Aug. 27.

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