Malik Bendjelloul, the 36-year old Swedish director of the much-acclaimed and 2013 Oscar-winning documentary ”Searching for Sugar Man”, has died by his own hand following a bout with depression. His brother told press he had been depressed for some time.
Bendjelloul grew up in central and southern Sweden and acted in the Swedish TV series Ebba and Didrik as a child during the 1990’s. He studied journalism and media production at the Linnaeus University of Kalmar and later worked as a reporter for the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.
He resigned from that job to pursue the idea for “Searching for Sugar Man.”The film follows two South African journalists who set out to find what had become of Rodriguez, and is structured like a mystery; finding Rodriguez, who never achieved fame in his home country but had become a popular and influential folk icon in South Africa, completely unbeknownst to himself.

"We are so sad to hear of Malik Bendjelloul's passing," Sony Pictures Classics, the distributor of “Searching for Sugar Man”, said in a statement. "Much like Rodriguez himself Malik was a genuine person who chased the world for stories to tell. He didn't chase fame, fortune or awards, although those accolades still found him as many others recognized his storytelling." “Searching for Sugar Man” swept major awards from the US directors', producers' and writers' guilds, and also won audience and special jury awards at the Sundance film festival. "Oh boy!" Bendjelloul exclaimed when he accepted his Oscar from Ben Affleck in 2013, proceeding to thank "one of the best singers ever, Rodriguez". Read Niclas Goldberg’s review of “Searching for Sugar Man” here: 'Searching for Sugar Man' - the enigma of a legend