The Oscar-winning movie director Malik Bendjelloul has died at the age of 36, reports The Associated Press. The Swedish director won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his documentary Searching for Sugar Man. Prior to his death, Malik was working on a new project, a documentary about Lawrence Anthony, the man who believed he could talk to elephants.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. It’s Unknown How Bendjelloul Died
The circumstances of Bendjelloul’s death are unknown. His passing was confirmed by Malik’s brother, Johan, who was speaking to Omni. He said simply, “My brother is dead. The family wants to be left alone in their grief.”
His friend, journalist Hynek Pallas, who accompanied Bendjelloul to the Oscars, called his friend“modest” and “a skilled storyteller.”
Police do not suspect any criminality in the death, according to the Swedish tabloid Expressen.
2. He Was Found Dead in Sweden
Bendjelloul was a native of Sweden and died in Stockholm on May 13. His body was found by police in the Swedish capital. Malik was born in the town of Ystad in 1977 in the southern part of the country.
3. His Documentary Won a String of Awards
In addition to his Oscar, Searching for Sugar Man won a BAFTA, a Director’s Guild award, a Producer’s Guild award, a Writer’s Guild award and the 2012 International Documentary Association award. The story of the movie dealt with two South African’s searching for their musical hero, Sixto Rodriguez.
Amazingly, Bendjelloul ran out of money toward the end of filming and was forced to finish recording the movie on an app from his iPhone. His victory at the 2013 Oscars was the first time in 61 years that a Swedish movie won a documentary Academy Award.
Malik Bendjelloul, the award-winning documentary filmmaker, died at the age of 36. Here are the best photos to remember the ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ director.Click here to read more
4. He Was the Son of a Doctor & an Artist
Bendjelloul’s father was an Algerian-born doctor and his mother was a painter, Veronica Schildt.He studied journalism in college, where he got his start in documentary film-making in Swedish television. His early documentaries were about music stars like Elton John, Kraftwerk and Bjork.
5. He Was a Child Actor
Before going into directing, Bendjelloul was a child actor. He was most famous in his homeland for his role in the TV show Ebba and Didrik, in which he played the role of Phillip.