Malik Bendjelloul

Malik Bendjelloul (Arabic: مالك بن جلول‎; 14 September 1977 – 13 May 2014) was a Swedish documentary filmmaker, journalist and former child actor.[2][3] He directed the 2012 documentary Searching for Sugar Man, which won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award.

Malik Bendjelloul
Malik Bendjelloul Deauville 2012.jpg
Bendjelloul at the 2012 Deauville American Film Festival
Born(1977-09-14)14 September 1977
Died13 May 2014(2014-05-13) (aged 36)
Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
Cause of deathSuicide
OccupationFilm director, actor, screenwriter, journalist
Years active1990–2014
Known forSearching for Sugar Man (2012)

Early lifeEdit

Bendjelloul was born in Ystad in Sweden, 55 kilometres (34 mi) east of Malmö, the son of Algerian-born physician Hacène Bendjelloul and Swedish translator and painter Veronica Schildt Bendjelloul.[2] He was the brother of journalist Johar Bendjelloul[4] and the nephew of actors Peter and Johan Schildt.[5][6] Bendjelloul grew up in central and southern Sweden (Ängelholm)[7] and during the 1990s acted in the SVT TV series Ebba och Didrik as Philip Clavelle.[4][8] The episodes were directed by his uncle, Peter Schildt.[5] Bendjelloul was educated at the Rönne Gymnasium in Ängelholm, where he entered the social science programme. He graduated in 1996.[5] He then attended Kalmar University, where he studied journalism and media production.[8][9]


Bendjelloul started his television career as a reporter on Swedish public television (SVT), where he worked as a freelancer and journalist for Kobra. His career also included working as a host for the breakfast television programme Gomorron Sverige as well as for the morning radio programme P1-morgon for Sveriges Radio.[5][7] Prior to working for SVT, he also worked for an independent production company, Barracuda Film & TV.[5][10] Subsequently, he left the job to direct documentaries on musicians including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Björk and Kraftwerk.[8]

Bendjelloul's documentary Searching for Sugar Man won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[11][12] Bendjelloul also won the 2013 BAFTA Award, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, American Cinema Editors, the Sundance audience and special jury accolades[13] and the 2012 International Documentary Association awards. Eventually, the documentary achieved commercial success as well and made $3.6 million (£2.7 million) at the box office. The film documents the revival of Sixto Rodriguez's musical career.[8]

In 2013, Bendjelloul was invited to host a show on the Swedish radio show Sommar i P1, where he told the listeners about the process behind Searching for Sugar Man.[4]


At rush hour on 13 May 2014 Malik Bendjelloul died by suicide after throwing himself in front of an oncoming train at the Solna centrum metro station in Stockholm[14] after struggling with depression, as reported by his brother Johar.[15][16] At the time of his death, he was working on a film project based on Lawrence Anthony's book The Elephant Whisperer.[17]



  1. ^ Tora Dahlström (25 February 2013). "Vi är jättestolta över Malik". Sydnytt (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Rohter, Larry (20 July 2012). A Real-Life Fairy Tale, Long in the Making and Set to Old Tunes Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ Swedish Film Institute Database: Malik Bendjelloul Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Sveriges Radio "Sommar i P1: Summary in English: "You've only got three months". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e Henricson, Emelie (26 February 2013). "Malik – från barnens favorit till världsstjärna" (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  6. ^ Eijde, Malin (5 May 2014). "Johan Schildt har valt skratt före tragedi". Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b Lundblad, Michael (16 August 2012). "Ängelholmaren som gör succé". Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Alexander, Ella (14 May 2014). "Malik Bendjelloul: Searching for Sugar Man director dies aged 36". The Independent. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Searching for Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul dies aged 36". The Guardian. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  10. ^ Wennö, Nicholas (13 May 2014). "Malik Bendjelloul är död". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  11. ^ "The 85th Academy Awards (2013) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ Olsen, Mark (24 February 2013). "Oscars 2013: 'Searching for Sugar Man' wins best documentary". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  13. ^ "2012 Sundance Film Festival Announces Awards". Sundance Film Festival. 28 January 2012. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  14. ^ Johnson, Scott (11 June 2014). "Oscar to Suicide in One Year: Tracing the 'Searching for Sugar Man' Director's Tragic Final Days". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  15. ^ Lindberg, Johan; Nyman, Emelie (13 May 2014). "Filmskaparen Malik Bendjelloul har avlidit". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  16. ^ Bruce Weber (13 May 2014). "Malik Bendjelloul, 36, Oscar Winner for 'Sugar Man' Documentary, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  17. ^ Cederskog, Georg (14 May 2014). "Han hade varit deprimerad". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 May 2014.

External linksEdit