Friday, August 1, 2014
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Malik Bendjelloul | 'Sugar Man' director, 36

FILE - This Jan. 28, 2012 file photo shows Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, left, and documentary film subject Rodriguez, center, accepting the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary for the film "Searching for Sugar Man" as presenter Edward James Olmos, right, looks on during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. Police in Sweden say Malik Bendjelloul has died. He was 36. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
FILE - This Jan. 28, 2012 file photo shows Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, left, and documentary film subject Rodriguez, center, accepting the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary for the film "Searching for Sugar Man" as presenter Edward James Olmos, right, looks on during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. Police in Sweden say Malik Bendjelloul has died. He was 36. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

Malik Bendjelloul, 36, who shot to Hollywood stardom overnight with the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, about an obscure Mexican American folk-rocker who became a cult hero in apartheid-era South Africa, died Tuesday in Stockholm.

Johar Bendjelloul told the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that his younger brother committed suicide after struggling with depression for a short period.

"Life is not always simple," Johar Bendjelloul was quoted as saying.

Mr. Bendjelloul rose to international fame in 2013 when his debut feature film, Searching for Sugar Man, won an Oscar for best documentary. The film tells the story of how Detroit-based singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who had flopped in the United States, became a superstar in South Africa without knowing it.

Mr. Bendjelloul worked as a reporter for Sweden's public broadcaster SVT before resigning to backpack around the world. He got the idea for Sugar Man on one of his trips, but it would take him more than four years to complete the film.

Rodriguez praised the director to Billboard Magazine, saying, "He was a very talented man and hardworking artist - he proved it by hitting an Academy Award his first time out." - AP

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