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 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