Swedish Film Institute: Malik Bendjelloul R.I.P.

Guldbaggegalan 2013

The Swedish Film Institute has remembered Malik Bendjelloul, who passed away in Stockholm yesterday. Read here or below:

“It is a terrible loss when a young person dies. The flag at the Swedish Film Institute is at half-staff today, but in our hearts it will be half-staff for a long time”, says Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute.

Malik Bendjelloul winning an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2013 was sensational. It was the first time since the 1980’s a Swedish film recieved an Academy Award (in 1984 Fanny and Alexander was awarded with an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and in 1989 the Swedish-Danish co-production Pelle the Conqueror recieved the same award). Not counting the Norwegian-swedish Kon Tiki from 1950, Searching for Sugar Man was the first Swedish documentary feature ever winning an Academy Award.

The Academy Award was the grand finale of Malik Bendjelloul’s and Searching for Sugar Man’s long series of victories. This remarkable film about the singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez had ever since the international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 received many awards across the world, including the Swedish film award Guldbaggen, the BAFTA Award, Directors Guild of America Award, the Writers Gulid of America Award, the Danish film award Bodil as well as awards at festivals in Chicago, Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Durban, Melbourne, Moscow and others.

It was a film that audiences around the world took to their hearts, and that gave Rodriguez a comeback and a world tour. It was also a film that made Malik Bendjelloul one of the brightest stars of Swedish film. His early death is a shock and a sorrow for movie fans all over the world and a great loss to Swedish film.

The international film world recognizes and mourns the death of Malik Bendjelloul. Read the articles in VarietyThe Hollywood ReporterScreen InternationalThe GuardianWashington PostDaily MailDeutsche Welle and Le Monde.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.