Acclaimed Argentinean film director, screenwriter and actor Sergio Renán passed away last Saturday, June 13 at the age of 82 in Buenos Aires. He directed the acclaimed film La tregua / The Truce (pictured below right), which became the first Argentine film to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974.
He was born Samuel Kohan in 1933 to Russian parents in Entre Ríos, Argentina. As a child he played the violin and continued to pursue his artistic talents in music but as a frustrated musician he eventually evolved to screenwriting and directing.
Eventually he became a stage actor, playwright, screenwriter and opera director. His directorial debut in theater was with was Jean Genet’s The Maids in 1970. In 1974 he made his debut feature film La tregua based on Mario Benedetti’s novel. Starring Héctor Alterio and Ana María Picchio, the film follows a man who has to come to terms with his wasted youth, estranged family and grim prospects for the future.
After the success of La tregua, he directed Crecer de golpe / Growing Up Suddenly (1976), Sentimental (1981), and El sueño de los héroes / The Dream of Heroes (1997), among others. The last film he directed was Tres de corazones / Three of Hearts in 2007.
Renán also had an influential career as an actor working on La cifra impar / Odd Number (1962) and Circe (1964) both directed by Manuel Antín, and in Martín Fierro (1968) and Los siete locos / The Seven Madmen (1973) by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. He was the director of the prestigious Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires between 1989 and 1996, and shortly in 2000. In March 2011 he was honored with the title of Illustrious Citizen of the City of Buenos Aires.