Remembering Maryna Ajaja

Monday, June 27, 2022

Festival News

Maryna Ajaja

We are heartbroken over the passing of Maryna Ajaja, Seattle International Film Festival Senior Programmer. Maryna died peacefully in her home on Saturday, June 25 surrounded by her loved ones following a diagnosis of melanoma in her brain.

Maryna was a powerful programming voice at SIFF for more than 30 years, focusing on Eastern and Central Europe, the Ex-Bloc as she liked to say. But more than that, she was passionate about the Festival, film & filmmakers, and making sure that stories that need to be told get seen. More Festival schedules have been changed after a Maryna suggestion than anyone will ever know… Films that she championed were a favorite with juries and audiences alike—winning many, many awards over the years. Maryna was a champion of new voices—especially women’s voices—and her dedication and passion will be dearly missed, a forever hole at SIFF.

—Beth Barrett, SIFF Artistic Director

View the slideshow presented at Maryna Ajaja: A Celebration of Life.