Some say he’s the David Mamet of the Latin film world; others have drawn comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock. After 20-plus years in the film industry, writer-director Fabián Bielinsky left us with only two feature films of his own making, but somehow still captured the attention of the entire moviemaking world. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Bielinsky attended Argentina’s national film institute, the Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales. Upon graduation, he found work as an assistant director on local film sets before launching his own brief but sensational career.

Ricardo Darín, Fabián Bielinsky and Pablo Cedrón as Sosa in The Aura.Photo credit: Elías Meckler. An IFC First Take release.

Toiling away for years on his own movie projects and finding no production support, Bielinsky entered and won a 1998 screenplay contest. By 2000 his film, Nine Queens, was completed and released in his native country and quickly met with international acclaim at film festivals the world over. Hollywood recognition came with the territory, and in 2004 the moviemaker saw the release of Criminal, Gregory Jacobs’ English-language version of Bielinsky’s film, starring John C. Reilly and Diego Luna.

Sadly, in June of this year the mastermind of the Argentinean thriller passed away from a heart attack at the age of 47, only five months before the U.S. release of his second film venture, The Aura, opening November 17th. The film, starring Bielinsky veteran Ricardo Darín, tells the twisted tale of an epileptic man attempting to pull off the perfect crime. Once again, both director and film have been well received at festivals throughout the world, including a handful of awards from the Argentinean Film Critics Association and a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance. With his untimely death, Bielinsky’s impressive duo of films stands as a testament to a formidable—and unfortunately short-lived—talent.