Ben Affleck presents the award for Best Documentary Feature
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that 15 films in the ever-controversial Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 85th Academy Awards. A whopping 126 pictures had originally qualified in the category.
This list often stirs up considerable controversy, and there are definitely a few major omissions in “The Central Park Five,” “West of Memphis,” “Samsara,” “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present,” “Only The Young” and “The Queen of Versailles.” But overall one suspects this will be one of the most agreeable Oscar shortlists in some time.
The Producers Guild of America has nominated five films, ranging from Aaron Yeger’s A People Uncounted to Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, for its Documentary Motion Picture Award. The nominees also include Dror Moreh’s The Gatekeepers, Jon Shenk’s The Island President and Marius A. Markevicius’ The Other Dream Team.
The nominees tackle a range of social issues and feature a number of striking personalities.
Searching for Sugar Man is the Swedish and British documentary that follows two Cape Town fans tracking down whatever became of Rodriguez, an American musician who never quite made it big as producers expected. The film made a mark during festival season, getting nominated for the special jury prize at Sundance and winning the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. If you loved it or still need to check the documentary out, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing Searching for Sugar Man to Blu-ray and DVD on January 22.
39 Films from 30 Countries including 29 MENA Premieres to Be Showcased in DTFF’s Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings Programme — Press | Doha Film Institute
Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will showcase 21 films in the Contemporary World Cinema section and 12 Special Screenings at its fourth edition to be held from November 17 – 24, 2012. With representation from 30 countries, this year DTFF’s Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings programme will feature 29 MENA (Middle East and North Africa) premieres.
Searching for Sugar Man
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | Sweden, United Kingdom | 2012
Rodriguez: the greatest 70s US rock icon who never was. His one album went nowhere and he disappeared into obscurity. Bootleg copies of his record made their way to South Africa, and a phenomenon was born. This investigation is a resonating story about hope, inspiration and the power of music.
Life’s a funny thing…
Recently I spoke with my fellow staff writers about the importance of sitting on a film you feel is perfect or “four-star” worthy before you officially go on record with the review. It feels acceptable to say a film grew in estimation for you over a time but it can be scathed or frowned upon to retract on a statement made if it paints the film in a perfect light. It’s hard to erase what you’ve already said. Enter Searching for Sugar Man from Sony Pictures Classics.
Director Malik Bendjelloul gives an insight into one of the most fascinating artists I’ve never known. Searching for Sugar Man, the story of two South Africans that set out to find out the mystery surrounding one of their favorite artists from the 1970s Rodriguez, is likely one of the great music documentaries of all-time. Huge statement? You bet it is. As someone who is and will always is in love with film, I love art universally, in all its forms from the cinematic treasures on-screen, to the music gracing the ear drums, to the paintings of Michelangelo; I inhabit a respect and admiration for self-expression, no matter what form it’s in. Give me a film that fuses art together into a beautiful portrait of mystery, meaning, and depth, you have me at minute one.
Underground folk/rock musician Rodriguez recently visited The Recording Academy’s headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Rodriguez discussed the evolution of his music, the popularity of his music in South Africa and the new documentary in which he is featured, Searching For Sugar Man, among other topics.
“Barriers are being brought down by technology through the Internet,” said Rodriguez. “The film, Searching For Sugar Man, has excited my music career. So we are touring.”
Detroit native Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums, 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming From Reality, that made little impact in the United States. With his albums failing to attract a wider audience, Rodriguez quit music. Unbeknownst to him, his socially conscious lyrics and unique blend of psychedelic folk rock rose to popularity in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, Rodriguez would tour in Australia in 1979 and 1981, and in South Africa in 1998.
Press Release from Light In The Attic Records
Hi Friends & Family,
I wanted to say hello and let you know that this fall marks the 10-year anniversary of Light In The Attic. We feel incredibly lucky to be doing this for a decade and continuing to thrive, especially in these tough economic times. Each year has surpassed the previous year, and 2012 is set to be far and away our best. To celebrate our first decade, we’ve put together two special concerts in L.A. and Seattle featuring RODRIGUEZ, MICHAEL CHAPMAN, DONNIE & JOE EMERSON, SHIN JOONG HYUN, and STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH. Save the date; they’re going to be fantastic shows. Below/attached are the full details on who plays where and when. This fall will also see a 7″ singles series featuring contemporary artists covering Light In The Attic songs, including Iggy Pop & Zig Zags, Sweet Tea (Alex Maas (Black Angels) & Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)), Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band, and Mark Lanegan, amongst others.
Furthermore, the film documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN about Detroit singer-songwriter SIXTO RODRIGUEZ is finally in U.S. theaters. For the past 4 years, we’ve been re-releasing Rodriguez’s music and have recently partnered with Sony Legacy on the soundtrack. See the movie. It’s truly a brilliant film. If you hate it, we’ll pay for your ticket. 2012 already looks to be the year of Rodriguez. Earlier this month the man performed on Letterman (
Thanks for all the continued support and here’s to another 10 years,
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CONCERTS:
Fri, Sept 28 @ El Rey (L.A.):
– SHIN JOONG HYUN (3rd ever U.S. show)
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH
– DJ SIPREANO
Fri, Oct 12 @ Showbox Market (Seattle):
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– DONNIE & JOE EMERSON (1st ever Seattle show)
– DJ SUSPENCE
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN: NOW PLAYING AT:
HARVARD EXIT TWIN (SEATTLE, WA)
NITEHAWK CINEMA (BROOKLYN, NY)
VILLAGE EAST CINEMA 7 (NEW YORK, NY)
LINCOLN PLAZA CINEMAS (NEW YORK, NY)
THE LANDMARK ON PICO (LOS ANGELES, CA)
REGENCY SOUTH COAST VILLAGE CIN (COSTA MESA, CA)
LAEMMLE’S PLAYHOUSE 7 (PASADENA, CA)
LA JOLLA VILLAGE THEATRE (LA JOLLA, CA)
AQUARIUS TWIN (PALO ALTO, CA)
CENTURY FIVE (PLEASANT HILL, CA)
EMBARCADERO CENTER CIN. 5 (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)
SEQUOIA TWIN (MILL VALLEY, CA)
NICKELODEON FOUR (SANTA CRUZ, CA)
CAMELVIEW PLAZA 5 (SCOTTSDALE, AZ)
CHARLES THEATRE (BALTIMORE, MD)
CENTURY CENTRE CINEMA (CHICAGO, IL)
KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA 9 (CAMBRIDGE, MA)
MAIN ART THEATRE 3 (ROYAL OAK, MI)
RITZ AT THE BOURSE 5 (PHILADELPHIA, PA)
MAYAN THREE (DENVER, CO)
WEST END CINEMA (WASHINGTON, DC)
COOLIDGE CNR. MOVIEHOUSE (BROOKLINE, MA)
EDINA CINEMA 4 (EDINA, MN)
FOX TOWER 10 (PORTLAND, OR)
ARBOR CINEMAS @ GREAT HILLS (AUSTIN, TX)
VIOLET CROWN CINEMA (AUSTIN, TX)
THE MAGNOLIA THEATRE (DALLAS, TX)
ANGELIKA FILM CENTER & CAFE (PLANO, TX)
MORE INFO + ADDITIONAL CITIES: www.sonyclassics.com/searchingforsugarman/dates.html
It’s one of the most remarkable – and least known – stories to come out of the musically-rich 1970s. At the onset of the decade, mysterious Detroit-bred singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez released his debut album, Cold Fact, playing a brand of soulful folk with pointed lyrics that dealt with poverty, urban living and political corruption. However, the record fell short of its expectations, failing to make a dent in American markets. After his equally unsuccessful followup, 1971′s Coming From Reality, Rodriquez was dropped from Sussex Records and faded into obscurity. At least, on this side of the world.
Searching for Sugar Man tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez. — (C) Sony Pictures Classics
Do some stories exist only because we need for them to? “Searching for Sugar Man” is about a gifted singer-songwriter from Detroit who was an enigma. His face half-hidden by long flowing hair and dark glasses, he sang in folk music bars with his back turned to the audience. His name was Sixto Rodriguez.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE AND SOUNDTRACK BRINGS RODRIGUEZ’S INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY AND 1970s MUSIC TO A NEW GENERATION
Soundtrack available everywhere starting August 13, 2012, through Columbia/Legacy
“The buzzworthy Sundance documentary” – Yahoo!
“An acclaimed new documentary goes hunting for the lost Dylan” – Grantland
“The tale is better than the telling – and the soundtrack’s better still – but music this monumental demands its moment. Now go and buy the album” – Matt Glasby Total Film UK
“I found the story in 2006. I was looking for stories, travelling around South Africa and America, and thinking the purpose was to sell them to Swedish TV, because I’d been working for Swedish TV before. I found this story and it was the best story I’d ever heard in my life and probably ever will; a great, great story.” Director, Malik Bendjelloul
We all know the lyrics, we may even have been a fan, but who knows what happened to the musician who brought us Sugar Man? SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is the most improbable but true story you will ever witness on the big screen. Rodriguez, a mysterious Detroit singer-songwriter, became a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and then he disappeared – until two South Africans set out to discover what happened to one of the biggest music sensations this country has ever known. The thought-provoking new documentary film, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, will be screened exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres on 31st August and is not to be missed!
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells a story that begins with the 1970 release of Rodriguez’s debut album, Cold Fact.
Discovered in the late 1960s, Rodriguez impressed producers with his Dylanesque songwriting. As a charismatic and mysterious artist he built a strong local following and became a true folk hero in the purest sense.
While Cold Fact was critically acclaimed, it did not succeed commercially, and despite the release of a second LP, Rodriguez drifted into obscurity. Rumors of his fate were widely and wildly exaggerated, ranging from reports of escalating depression to a sensationally gruesome suicide onstage, involving self-immolation.
Meanwhile, the LP had made its way around the world to South Africa, where it was banned by an oppressive government. Copies were bootlegged and circulated, and Rodriguez inadvertently became the soundtrack of an emerging liberal youth, including many liberal Afrikaans musicians for whom Rodriguez became an inspiration for their own music.
Over the next two decades, Rodriguez became a household name in the country, where the number of copies of Cold Fact would have earned it platinum sales status.
Both sides of the story, Rodriguez’s life in Detroit and the subsequent impact of his music in the smoldering Apartheid era proved fascinating to Stockholm-based documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul.
His subjects have included Kraftwerk, Björk, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Kylie Minogue, Prince, and others. His short documentary films for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra, became the basis for such films as Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney) and The Terminal (Tom Hanks).
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The soundtrack album on Legacy will compile tracks from Cold Fact and its follow-up LP of 1971, Coming From Reality, reissued to critical acclaim in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a Red Box Films & Passion Pictures Production in association with Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premiered in New York on April 24th at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on July 27th and will open in other markets throughout the month of August. For a complete release schedule, visit the film’s website at www.SearchingForSugarManMovie.com.
Searching for Sugar Man release cinemas:
1. Rosebank Nouveau
2. Gateway Nouveau
3. Cavendish Nouveau
4. V&A Nouveau
5. Brooklyn Nouveau
6. Garden Route Mall
7. Mimosa Mall
8. Somerset Mall
Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Tracklisting
1. SUGAR MAN
2. CRUCIFY YOUR MIND
4. I WONDER
5. LIKE JANIS
6. THIS IS NOT A SONG, IT’S AN OUTBURST: OR, THE ESTABLISHMENT BLUES
7. CAN’T GET AWAY
8. I THINK OF YOU
9. INNER CITY BLUES
10. SANDREVAN LULLABY – LIFESTYLES
11. STREET BOY
12. A MOST DISGUSTING SONG
13. I’LL SLIP AWAY
14. JANE S. PIDDY