Searching for Sugar Man wins Oscar for Best Documentary
Swedish documentary and musical mystery ‘Searching for Sugar Man’, the heartwarming story of two South Africans’ search for musician Rodriguez, has won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, Searching for Sugar Man tells about the obscure Detroit singer and made a near-sweep of documentary awards since its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
"Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez," Bendjelloul said during a brief on-stage speech.
The film tells the story of how for years it was thought that the 1970s singer-songwriter known as Rodriguez had either committed suicide, or faded into obscurity. But through the searches of music lovers Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom from South Africa, where he unexpectedly achieved a startling level of fame, he was discovered to be very much alive, living and working as a construction worker in Michigan, having never achieved recognition in the US or anywhere else in the world.
Rodriguez himself was not at the Oscars, having just completed a tour of South Africa.
Backstage, producer Simon Chinn explained that Rodriguez wasn't at the ceremony because "he genuinely doesn't want to take credit for this film. ... He's genuinely a humble man and he wanted to stay at home in Detroit and watch it on television."
The film won against The Gatekeepers, 5 Broken Cameras, The Invisible War, and How to Survive a Plague.