Oscar-Winning Director of ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ Found Dead

Celebrity Deaths 2014
Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

Director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, has been found dead.

He was 36.

Police spokeswoman Pia Glenvik told the Associated Press that Bendjelloul died in Stockholm late Tuesday, but wouldn’t specify the cause of death.

“Searching for Sugar Man,” about the life and career of American singer Sixto Rodriguez, won 2013 docu Oscar as well as awards from Bafta, the IDA, the PGA and the DGA.

Born in Sweden, Bendjelloul appeared on TV as a child and then studied journalism and media production. He produced music documentaries for Swedish television and worked as a TV reporter before leaving to travel in Africa and South America.

He filmed the story partly on an iPhone, and the film was accepted as opening night film at Sundance before it was even finished.

“I was backpacking around Africa and South America looking for stories with a camera. I found six stories and this was one of the six. I thought it was the best story I’d ever heard,” he told the Independent newspaper in 2012.

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  1. Lorna smith says:

    I dont understand. He goes to school and learns what he needs. He goes out and does a remarkable job on sfsm, wins an oscar blows everyones mind with his work then _________?.. I just dont understand

  2. Oraklet says:

    He jumped in front of a subwaytrain.

  3. Loved this documentary. Romantic story about the love of music. I didnt realize that the director was so young. Tragic. Would like to hear more details.

  4. I’m speechless. SFSM is a great movie.
    Malik Bendjelloul, rest in peace!

  5. Ric Kinnan says:

    He leaves us with a great Legacy for his family and friends. Bravo for a soulful film about real life, the good, bad, and all the rest. RIP

  6. julesolder says:

    He made this great film with vast enthusiasm, no money, great effort, no experience, tremendous idealism, no backing. His death is a loss to us all.
    — jules

  7. Angeleno says:

    Oh man, so sorry to hear this. What a sad loss of a talented young man. “Searching for Sugar Man” is a wonderful, fascinating documentary. Condolences to all of Malik Bendjelloul’s family and friends.

  8. I hope the Swedish Police investigate thoroughly. His film exposed a legal issue involving a lot of money and suits were recently filed.

    • David Winks says:

      His brother stated that it was suicide, and that he had suffered from depression for some time. I don’t belive that the police will investigate it very thoroughly, and I don’t expect there to be any foul play involved. It’s a very tragic situation.

  9. Very sad to hear of this passing at such a young age. And I could see why “Searching for Sugar Man” won the Oscar. Tremendous documentary that was made.

  10. cannlowe says:

    This was one of the best stories that I ever heard and the documentary was just great. I never knew that this young man won an Oscar or that he was so young. So sorry for him.

  11. GKN says:

    I agree with Malik. Sugar Man was one of the best stories I ever heard too – and he did a brilliant job with it. His death, so young, is terribly sad and strange. Please keep us posted as to how that happened.

  12. Glenn C. says:

    You never know….

  13. Sad. What a GREAT film. And such a memorable cinematic epitaph.

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