Marcin Wrona, the director of the Polish horror film “Demon,” which made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last week, was found dead in a hotel room in Poland on Friday night. He was 42.
Wrona was preparing for the Polish premiere of “Demon” at the Gdynia Film Festival. The movie was also set to bow at the upcoming Fantastic Fest in Austin and the Sitges Film Festival. It was slated for a theatrical release in Poland in October.
“We are all deeply shocked and saddened at the news of the sudden death of Marcin Wrona,” the Toronto Film Festival said in a statement. “His film ‘Demon’ truly marked the emergence of a strong new voice on the world cinema stage. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family, especially his wife and producing partner, Olga Szymanska, who was with him at the premiere in Toronto.”
“Demon” will be screened for a final time on Saturday at 9:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, where TIFF will pay tribute to Wrona.
“As the organizers of the festival and at the same time friends of Marcin, we are deeply shocked and saddened by this information,” the organizers of the 40th Gdynia Film Festival said in a statement. “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the wife of the director and all the people who were close to him.”
Fest organizers will shorten Saturday’s awards ceremony as a means of honoring Wrona.
Wrona and co-screenwriter Pawel Maslona adapted “Demon,” a modern-day take on the dybbuk legend of Jewish folklore, from Piotr Rowicki’s 2008 play “Adherence.”
Wrona directed two other films prior to “Demon”: 2009’s “Moja Krew” (“My Flesh My Blood”) and 2010’s “Chrzest” (“The Christening”). He was considered one of the rising stars in the Polish film industry.
He was also a lecturer at the Radio and Television Department of the University of Silesia in Katowice.
Wrona is survived by his newlywed wife, Olga Szymanska, who was a producer on the film “Demon.”