Dead at 68. Film icon Piotr Szulkin

During his artistic life Szulkin was awarded more than 50 times. Marcin Kaliński/PAP

Poland’s most revered sci-fi film director Piotr Szulkin has died.

News that the director and screenwriter had passed away first appeared on social media when Polish artist Monique Lehman wrote on Facebook.

She posted simply: “I have received sad news about our colleague from high school.”

Born in Gdańsk, north of Poland, on 26th April, 1950, Szulkin first attended the Secondary School of Fine Arts before going on to study directing at National Film School in Łódź, where he became a professor in 1993.

He begun his film career as an animator, later to explore range of cinematic styles : documentaries, tv theatre and artistic short films.

He rose to fame with his first feature film “Golem” in 1979. The film, which has gained cult status , was immediately recognized as being an outstanding masterpiece by both Polish and international critics.

This was followed by his iconoclastic “The War of the Worlds: Next Century” (1981), “O-Bi, O-Ba: The End of Civilization” (1985) and “Ga, ga. Praise the heroes” (1986).

He’s last feature film was an adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s “King Ubu”, released in 2003.

During his artistic life he was awarded more than 50 times, mostly by international critics and audience.

The cause of death is as yet unknown.