MADRID — The Valladolid Film Festival, the most important artpic distribution springboard in Spain, has a new director. Critic and author Juan Carlos Frugone is taking the reins from longtime director Fernando Lara, recently named director general of ICAA film institute, which runs Spain’s largest subsidy fund.

Fest commission elected unanimously the Argentina-born Frugone, Lara’s subdirector from 1984-92.

“I didn’t know Fernando when I accepted the job,” remembered Frugone. “It just so happened that we shared the same focus, similar tastes and got along so well.”

Frugone takes over as the festival celebrates its 50th edition.

“Certain sections in the festival, such as Time of History, which highlights documentary films, and New Spanish Cinema, are fantastic and untouchable,” said Frugone. “I’ll look to the younger generation to see what the festival is missing.”

Frugone served as consultant to various film festivals, such as Venice and Chicago. He was secretary general of the Huelva Film Festival and subdirector of Mar de Plata in 1996.