By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 26, 2013 at 3:43PM
When "Searching for Sugar Man" premiered at Sundance 2012, director Malik Bendjelloul had no idea it would make it all the way to the winner's podium on Oscar night. He also could never have imagined the film's story playing out the way it did. He was backpacking looking for stories for Swedish TV when he happened upon the Rodriguez saga. He calls it a "Cinderella" story. Watch our red carpet interview below.
Sony Pictures Classics scooped up "Searching for Sugar Man" on opening night at Sundance, and took the movie about a folk icon who disappeared to $3.3 million in the states. The movie racked up multiple award wins en route to winning the Oscar for best doc Sunday night.
On the red carpet, fellow nominee Guy Davidi ("5 Broken Cameras") told us that he admired "Searching for Sugar Man," because it is "a film about modesty. I think in our world we don't have so much respect for modesty. And I think the fact that this is a man who is not following his ego, but just his passion, is something inspiring."
Backstage "Sugar Man" producer Simon Chinn said that while Rodriguez is busy touring (and has three albums on the music charts), he did not attend the Oscars because "he genuinely didn't want to take credit for this. This was Malik's movie."
Inside the Dolby Theatre, Bendjelloul told us that he has not been chasing Hollywood meetings; he wants to use his newfound cachet in order to pursue several passion projects--both doc and fiction-- while he has the chance. With him, it's about finding the right story to tell.