(Marseille) Prize for female interpretation at Locarno for the film Gadjo Dilo, popular singer of the electro-Balkan scene, the Franco-Romanian Rona Hartner, 50, died Thursday in Toulon, announced the diocese and one of her friends .

“With great sadness, we learn that Rona Hartner, actress, singer, producer, very involved in the Toulon Christian artistic community has left us,” wrote the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon on its Instagram page.

“She died this Thursday from cancer, she had lived in Toulon for around ten years,” Alain Vignal, a history professor who was one of her friends, told AFP.

Born March 9, 1973 in Bucharest, Rona Hartner notably played alongside French actor Romain Duris in the film Gadjo Dilo by Tony Gatlif in 1997, the story of a Frenchman going to Romania in search of a Roma singer.

She won the acting prize at the Locarno festival for this role.

“It’s heartbreaking for me, he was a wonderful person, very generous, in the game as in life. When she won a prize in Locarno, she took everything there was to eat and put it in a bag. The people of Locarno were offended, but when she left, she gave everything to the poor. She was very generous,” Tony Gatlif told AFP.

“For Gadjo Dilo, I really looked everywhere for an actress. I wanted someone like her. I’ve never seen actresses like that, someone who could dare to act like that, but she wasn’t vulgar. She was giving,” he added.

Rona Hartner had just filmed in Alexandre Arcady’s film, Le petit blond de la casbah, released in theaters in France on November 15.

Musician and singer, Rona Hartner had also collaborated with star DJs of electro-Balkan music such as the German Shantel or DJ Tagada (Gypsy Therapy), as well as with the filmmaker David Lynch for a series of pieces (You’re more than that). In 2015, she released the album The Balkanic Gospel, mixing Roma music, gospel and jazz.