Oscar winning Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul was found dead on Tuesday in Stockholm from an apparent suicide.
The 36-year-old was most well known for his work on Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary about musician Sixto Rodriguez. Rodriguez went by the singular name on his recordings and released two folk rock albums in the early 1970’s before vanishing from the music scene.
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After quitting his job in 2006, Bendjelloul traveled to Africa looking or a story. His journey led him to Stephen Segerman, who was looking for Rodriguez through the help of his website, The grate Rodriguez hunt. After meeting, the two were able to unearth the musicians story.
Bendjelloul told the New York Times, “This was the greatest, the most amazing, true story I’d ever heard, an almost archetypal fairy tale. It’s a perfect story. It has the human element, the music aspect, a resurrection and a detective story.”
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Searching for Sugar Man was Bendjelloul’s debut feature and earned him the 2013 Academy Award for best documentary. He edited the film in his Stockholm apartment and paid for most of it himself.
While police have not confirmed the cause of death, no crime was suspected. Bendjelloul’s brother, Johar, has said it was a suicide and that the filmmaker had been struggling with depression.
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