You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Sugar Man’ Director Death Was Suicide, Family Says

Director's brother speaks to Swedish press.

Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentarySearching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says.

“I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today.

Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon Chinn) died in Stockholm late Tuesday, but local police did not 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.

Tributes were paid to him at the jury press conference of the Cannes film festival Wednesday. “He was a wonderful film-maker. I just feel really sorry for those left behind,” said Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn.

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.

“I saw him two weeks ago in London. He was so full of life, hope and optimism and happiness, and looking forward to the future and future collaborations. We were talking about working together and talking about specific ideas, so the idea that he is no longer is just too hard to process,” Chinn, producer of “Sugar Man” told the Associated Press news agency.

More Scene

  • Todd Haynes, Jaden Michael, Sandy Powell

    'Wonderstruck' Director Todd Haynes Emphasizes Importance of Film's Score: It's 'Almost a Character'

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel

    Elizabeth Olsen, Jane Rosenthal Demand Justice for Sexual Assault Victims at Chanel Tribeca Lunch

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' film

    Tyler Perry Hopes 'Boo 2!' Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation's 'Darkness'

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • 'Geostorm' film premiere

    'Geostorm' Director Hopes Harvey Weinstein Scandal Signals 'Sea Change' for Hollywood

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • ‘Working Above The Line’ panel, The

    Academy's Third Annual Careers in Film Summit Inspires Young Creatives

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • Josh Radnor Ben Lee

    'Saved By a Story' Benefit Raises Money for Charity — and Builds a Community of Storytellers

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

  • Oprah Celebrates 'Wisdom of Sundays' With

    Oprah Winfrey Celebrates New Book 'Wisdom of Sundays' With Star-Studded Gospel Brunch

    Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, whose 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won the best documentary Oscar, committed suicide, his family says. “I can confirm that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the director, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper today. Bendjelloul (pictured right, with producer Simon […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content