A fine-art photographer, a film Director, an author of visual and multimedia works, a man of many talents. Gładych was born in 1963. In the 1990s, he worked as a fine-art photographer for many Polish fashion periodicals and monthlies. He was an undisputed leader and the inspiring force behind the energetic independent film community in Toruń. His works also had a significant impact on the development of the historical identity of the city’s residents.
In early 2000s, he moved from Warsaw to Toruń and started his journey towards film. In 2006, he founded the International Diaskop Film Festival – a combination of film, video art, and performance.
In 2007, Gładych directed a “philosophical multimedia play” entitled Gyom, Tat, E(eeee)tam, based on the tales by Leszek Kołakowski. In 2009, he created his first short films: a documentary about the Wiczy Theatre entitled Jadą z Mrożkiem/Going with Mrożek, and feature the études Trzy życzenia/Three Wishes and Fire Women. His films have been screened at many festivals, including the TOFIFEST International Film Festival, the International Kansk Video Festival in Russia, the Chicago Short Film Festival in the United States, and the International Independent Film Festival Anonimul in Romania.
Two films directed by Gładych, Hakerzy Wolności/Hackers of Freedom (2010) and Panoptikon, proved monumental – they not only depicted incredibly important events, but also influenced the shape and development of the identity of the Toruń film community. Hakerzy Wolności/Hackers of Freedom was the first nationwide success of Marcin Gładych, which earned him the Grand Prix at the Historical Film Festival in Zduńska Wola (2012). It was shown during various festivals in Poland and Italy, as well as during a special screening at the European Parliament. The Films from the Heart of Poland project, created by the Cultural Office Foundation, helped bring the film to 16 cities in Poland. In 2010, the Director received the Flisak – the Award of the President of Toruń for his contribution to the development of local cinema.
The same year saw the première of Panoptikon – a fictionalised feature-length documentary referred to as “the first Polish community-made film”. Created together with Krystian Wieczyński, it depicts 100 years of the history of Toruń, seen from the perspective of people imprisoned at the city’s prison – “Okrąglak”.
Gładych’s last biographical documentary, entitled Smugi/Smudges, directed together with Adam Fisz, premièred in 2017 during the 15th TOFIFEST International Film Festival. It is a story about the colourful, multigenerational, Smużny family, well-known artists from Toruń. The first screening of Smugi/Smudges came only days before Marcin Gładych’s death.
He passed away on 26 October 2017, after a battle with a major illness.
His final picture, entitled Trzynasty miesiąc/Thirteenth Month – about Bruno Schulz and his art – remains unfinished.
Selected awards and distinctions
Grand Prix – the Historical Film Festival in Zduńska Wola; Flisak – the Award of the President of Toruń – the TOFIFEST International Film Festival, and others.