Leading figure of the Argentine film industry who began directing commercials at the age of 19 and directed, produced and co-wrote his first feature, "Lights of My Shoes", in 1973. Puenzo earned international recognition for "The Official Story" (1984), a subtle and moving account of a middle-class woman who gradually becomes aware of her own complicity in a corrupt political regime. The film earned Norma Aleandro a Best Actress Award at Cannes in 1985 and itself took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film the following year.
On the strength of his ability to make an intimate, character-driven drama reflect wider social and political issues, Puenzo was chosen to direct "The Old Gringo" (1989), adapted from the novel by Carlos Fuentes. Despite a $25 million budget and the presence of stars Jane Fonda and Gregory Peck, the film proved a rambling critical and commercial flop.