JUAN ANTONIO BAYONA (Director) (born 1975 in Barcelona) is a Spanish film director. In addition to directing television commercials and music videos, Bayona is best known for directing his acclaimed horror film THE ORPHANAGE.
Growing up with a passion for film, 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). 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 (Spanish: MIS VACACIONES) in 1999 and THE SPONGEMAN (Spanish: EL HOMBRE ESPONJA) in 2002. In 2004, Bayona met Sergio G. Sanchez who was working on his short film 7337 and offered Bayona his script for THE ORPHANAGE.
THE ORPHANAGE (EL ORFANATO) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2007 and received with a ten minute ovation from the audience. It's wide release in Spain was 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.
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