Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Searching for Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul
Simon Chinn
Executive Producer:
John Battsek

A Red Box Films production in association with Canfield Pictures and Passion Pictures

A musician is discovered In a Detroit bar in the late 60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They record an album which they believe is going to secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation.  In fact, the album bombs and the singer disappears into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide.  But a bootleg recording finds its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it becomes a phenomenon. Two South African fans then 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 Sixto Rodriguez. This is a film about hope, inspiration and the power of music.

International sales: Protagonist Pictures


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    Awards and festivals:
  • Durban Film Festival - Audience Choice Award 2012
  • Sundance World Cinema Documentary - Special Jury Prize 2012
  • Sundance World Cinema Documentary - Audience Award 2012
  • SXSW - official selection 2012
  • Tribeca Film Festival - official selection 2012
  • LA Film Festival - audience award 2012
  • Moscow Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize, documentary 2012
Review highlights:
  • A hugely appealing documentary…. there’s too much sincerity in “Searching for Sugar Man,” too much love and enduring human mystery for cynicism to take hold. In the end Mr. Bendjelloul went looking for a man and found something much greater.

  • A head-spinning, signpost turning, psyche-twirling treat: a music-culture Cinderella to beat them all.

  • One of the most uplifting documentaries in recent memory.

  • A born crowd-pleaser whose central mystery begets a great triumph of grace and modesty...a hugely entertaining, emotionally touching, and musically revelatory experience.