Helmer

Argentine director Lucho Bender died July 6 from a heart attack in Barcelona. He was 47.

Bender was in the Spanish coastal city to direct a commercial and start pre-production on his next pic. In 2000, Argentina entered Bender’s directorial debut “Felicidades” as its foreign Oscar entry. Although it did not make the cut, the experience spurred him on to write his second feature.

Two years ago, Bender pulled out his screenplay for a comedy he had written, “Chong, el Coreano” from the MPA’s Feature Film Project Development Workshop and Competition when he found out that the winners would not have first crack at directing it.

“I was not ready to give up the chance to direct a project I had been writing and developing for years,” he said. Bender honed his filmmaking skills in advertising where he was among the leading commercial directors.

Bender is survived by his wife, art director Micaela Puig, and two daughters.

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