Oscar-Winning 'Searching for Sugar Man' Director Sadly Dies at 36
Following the sad news that Alien visual effects and creature designer H.R. Giger passed away, we have even more tragic news. Deadline has learned that director Malik Bendjelloul, who just won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2013 for the musically infused Searching for Sugar Man, was found dead in Stockholm today. No cause of death has been given, but local newspaper Expressen learned from the police that his death was not being treated as suspicious and no crime is suspected at this time. This is some truly tragic news for a young and gifted filmmaker who quickly climbed from Sundance buzz to Oscar glory.
Bendjelloul wrote, directed, produced, edited and composed addition score for his documentary that chronicled a personal search for reclusive musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, an unlikely and mysterious musical hero from the 70s who faded into obscurity. Due to Bendjelloul's documentary (which also won the Audience Award at Sundance along with accolades from DGA, PGA, WGA, BAFTA and National Board of Review) Rodriguez became popular again, and is currently touring the country. Who knows what future fame Bendjelloul might have found in the documentary world, but we're saddened that we will never see his career continue. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. Rest in peace.
UPDATE: We're sad to call your attention to an update from the Associated Press with word from Johar Bendjelloul, brother of the filmmaker, that Malik Bendjelloul unfortunately committed suicide. Apparently the director struggled with depression when he was younger. If you're struggling with depression and have thought about suicide, don't be afraid to speak out by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Suicide is not the answer.