Marcin Wrona, director of Demon, a film screening in Main Competition at the 40th Gdynia Film Festival, passed away suddenly on Friday night.

A statement published on the festival website reads: “As the organizers of the Festival and at the same time friends of Marcin, we are deeply shocked and saddened by this information. We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Wife of the director and all the people who were close to Him. At the same time we would like to inform that the Awards Ceremony planned for today will be held in a shortened form and with full respect to the memory of Marcin. [Signed:] Organizers of the 40th Gdynia Film Festival.”

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Marcin Wrona was born on March 25, 1973. He graduated in film studies from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and in film directing from the Radio and Television Department of the University of Silesia in Katowice. He also graduated from the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing and the Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam. Director, screenwriter, producer, lecturer in film directing at the Radio and Television Department of the University of Silesia in Katowice and in screenwriting at the Krakow Film School. Member of the Polish Film Academy and the European Film Academy, co-founder of the Film 1,2 Association.

His 2001 student film Człowiek magnes (Magnet Man) received international acclaim, winning the award for Best Student Film and Special Mention in the Short Film category at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.

Marcin Wrona’s feature debut Moja Krew (My Flesh and Blood) premiered at the 2009 Rome Film Festival. Earlier that year, Marcin Wrona received the Journalist Award and the Award for Best Screenplay at the ‘Young and Cinema’ Festival of Film Debuts in Koszalin.

Marcin Wrona’s second feature Chrzest (The Christening; 2010) had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film received the Silver Lions award at the 35th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia and a number of awards at international film festivals, including the Grand Prize of the Febiofest International Film Festival in Prague. Chrzest (The Christening) was released theatrically in several territories, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Romania, Hungary, and Spain.

Marcin Wrona’s most recent feature Demon screened at the 40th Gdynia Film Festival, and at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, where it was very well received by audiences, critics, and journalists. The Toronto screening of Demon marked the film’s world premiere.

Marcin Wrona also directed a number of award-winning plays for Polish television, including Kolekcja, based on the works of Harold Pinter, and a 2013 production of Gabriela Zapolska’s Moralność pani Dulskiej, starring Magdalena Cielecka. This production brought him the Best Director award at the “Dwa Teatry” National Radio and Television Theatre Festival in Sopot. Wrona also directed television series (Lekarze, Ratownicy).

In 2003, Marcin Wrona received the Award of the Silesian Voivodship Marshal for Young Artists. In 2007, Wrona’s screenplay for Moja krew (My Flesh My Blood) received the Grand Prize of the Polish edition of the Hartley-Merrill (a screenplay then titled “Tamagotchi”) and placed third in the International Edition of the Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting Competition in Cannes. In 2011, Marcin Wrona received the Annual Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in the field of film.

Translated by Karolina Kołtun