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Obit: Fortissimo Films’ Wouter Barendrecht

Fortissimo Films co-founder and chairman Wouter Barendrecht died Sunday in Bangkok of heart failure. He was 43.

Barendrecht was in Thailand to screen a rough cut of Fortissimo’s latest film, "Nymph," and had just left a busy Filmart in Hong Kong.

Barendrecht, who spent the past 19 years with Fortissimo and guided such Asian films as Wong Kar-wai’s "Chungking Express" and "In the Mood for Love," was a leader in the independent film world and a champion of gay cinema.

Barendrecht’s vision helped a generation of filmmakers reach a global audience. He moved to Hong Kong in 1997 to set up the Fortissimo office with subsequent business partner and co-chairman Michael J. Werner.

Prior to Fortissimo he was at the Rotterdam Film Festival, where he helped create the Cinemart co-production forum.

Born Nov. 5, 1965, in the Netherlands, Barendrecht was a member of the European Film Academy and frequently served on the juries of international film festivals.