‘Nine Queens’ helmer dies

Bielinsky recently won top kudos for 'El aura'

Fabian Bielinsky, whose film “El aura” (The Dawn) swept Argentina’s main awards event this week, was found dead Thursday of an apparent heart attack in Brazil.

The 47-year-old director-scribe died Wednesday while staying in a Sao Paulo hotel room, according to police. He reportedly had had hypertension for some time.

He was in the city casting for an advertising project.

Bielinsky had traveled there after receiving six Condors de Plata on Monday for his sophomore pic, “Dawn,” at the 54th Argentine Assn. of Film Journalists’ Awards ceremony in Buenos Aires. His tale of a deluded taxidermist who plans the perfect crime scooped film, director, original screenplay, sound, cinematography and lead actor (Ricardo Darin).

IFC Entertainment picked up “Dawn” for its First Take day-and-date release slate (Daily Variety, June 5).

Bielinsky is best known for his debut feature, “Nueve reinas” (Nine Queens), a crime caper starring Darin and Gaston Pauls (“Enlightened by Fire”) that was a local hit and went on to sell to some 30 countries.

Warner Intl. Pictures remade it as “Criminal” for Hollywood. Produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney, pic was directed by Gregory Jacobs and toplined by John C. Reilly and Diego Luna.

Variety‘s Todd McCarthy called “Nueve reinas” a “seductively structured and superbly acted suspenser that breathtakingly piles swindle upon scam without giving away the game until the very end.”

Before taking on his own film projects, the Buenos Aires native worked as a director of commercials and an assistant director of pics by Argentinean helmers including Carlos Sorin, Eliseo Subiela and Marcos Bechis.

He was named one of Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch in 2002.

He is survived by his wife and 11-year-old son.

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