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Juan Antonio Bayona (born 1975 in Barcelonamarker) is a Spanishmarker film director. In addition to directing television commercials and music videos, Bayona is best known for directing his acclaimed horror film The Orphanage. Bayona is currently working on his English-language debut, Hater, which was announced in October, 2008.


Bayona grew up with a passion for films. This fervor first lead him to become a journalist; later, it motivated him to study directing at the Cinema and Audiovisual School of Catalonia (ESCAC). During the 1993 Sitges Film Festival in Spain, Bayona met director Guillermo Del Toro, who was presenting his film Cronos. After their initial conversations, Del Toro promised to aid Bayona in the future, were he ever in the position to do so. Following his graduation from ESCAC,Bayona started his career directing commercials and pop videos for famous Spanish musical groups, including OBK, Hevia, Ella Baila Sola and Camela. Bayona directed two short films My Holidays ( ) in 1999 and The Spongeman ( ) in 2002.

In 2004, Bayona met Sergio G. Sánchez who was working on his short film 7337 and offered Bayona his script for The Orphanage. In order to create the film as he wanted, Bayona had to double both the film's budget and the amount of filming time. To accomplish this, Bayona received help from fellow film director Guillermo del Toro who offered to co-produce the film as soon as he learned about it. The Orphanage(El orfanato) premiered at the Cannes Film Festivalmarker on May 20, 2007 and received with a ten minute ovation from the audience. The Orphanage had a wide release in Spain on October 11, 2007 and was immensely successful in Spain after an $8.3 million four-day launch from 350 screens. The film was the second highest-grossing debut ever for a Spanish film and was the biggest opening of the year, making it even larger than the worldwide success of the Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth. The Orphanage earned Bayona the award for Best New Director at the 2008 Goya Awards in Spain.

Future projects

In October 2008, Variety announced that Universal Studios has signed Bayona to direct Hater, an adaptation of British author David Moody's thriller novel about an epidemic of violence caused by regular people. The film will be written by Glen Mazzara and produced by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Johnson.

In May 2009, Variety reported that Bayona would again work with The Orphanage screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez on production by Madridmarker-based Apaches Entertainment, Telecinco Cinema and Spongeman, Bayona's own Barcelonamarker-based label. The film is scheduled to start shooting in early 2010.



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