Writer, film critic and festival director Juan Carlos Frugone died at a hospital outside of Madrid on July 7 after losing a battle with cancer. He was 71.

Frugone was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied philosophy and literature. While there, he forged close friendships with the most acclaimed film-makers of his generation, including Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, Sergio Renan, Fernando Ayala and screenwriter Aida Bortnik (The Official Story).

After going into exile from Argentina in 1976 he lived in the US and Spain. Frugone was a film critic on television, radio and on Argentina’s prestigious newspaper Clarin and Spain’s Diario 16, among others. His reviews also appeared in magazines such as Fotogramas, El Socialista, and Cambio 16.

He had been associated with Valladolid’s International Film Week in Spain since 1984, when he was named co-director. He held this title with Fernando Lara until 1992, going on to replace Lara as director of the event from 2005 to 2008.

He also collaborated in the organisation of different festivals such as Huelva, Mar Del Plata, Venice and Chicago, and participated as a member of the jury on several international festivals such as Guadalajara, Edinburgh, San Sebastian and Oxford.

Frugone wrote books on Stanley Donen, Mario Camus, and Rafael Azcona. He also wrote screenplays such as Nada Personal, La Taberna, Historia De Rosendo Juarez, and Mujeres.

A memorial service is scheduled to take place in Madrid on July 14.