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Malik Bendjelloul
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Filmmaker
    (September 14, 1977-May 13, 2014)
    Born in Ystad, Sweden
    Directed 'Searching for Sugar Man' (2012) about cult singer Sixto Rodriguez
    Won the Oscar for Best Documentary
    Committed suicide at age 36
    He was a teen star in the Swedish TV series 'Ebba and Didrik.'
    Most of the work in tracking down Rodriguez had already been done by a South African journalist before Bendjelloul began filming.
    He had a difficult time interviewing Rodriguez: 'I was like 'Oh my God I have a subject who doesn't want to be on camera, who doesn't even speak!''
    He was one of several Oscar winners who got cut off with the 'Jaws' theme when their speeches ran past the time limit.
    While backpacking around the world, he learned of Sixto Rodriguez's popularity in South Africa and decided to make a film about him.
    When the film was 90% complete, his financial backers pulled out. He finished the movie using a $1.99 iPhone app.
    He said he was determined to complete the film because 'It is the best story I have ever heard in my life, and I think I ever will hear.'
    Even before it was finished, his film was chosen to open the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
    His documentary led to a career revival for Rodriguez.
    He said about reaction to the film, 'It's so overwhelming. It's hard to find words actually.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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