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Watch: 'Searching for Sugar Man' Director Bendjelloul on the Road to Oscar [VIDEO]

Thompson on Hollywood 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.
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'Searching for Sugar Man'
Sony Pictures Classics 'Searching for Sugar Man'

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.

This article is related to: Searching for Sugar Man, Awards, Awards, Video, Sundance Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.