Monday, February 25, 2013 12:25 am
`Sugar Man' finds documentary prize at Oscars
By CHRISTY LEMIREAP Movie Writer
Directed by the Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, "Searching for Sugar Man" tells the story of the Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez, who disappeared from public life after releasing an album in the early `70s but developed an unlikely cult following in South Africa. It's structured as a bit of a mystery, with the audience not knowing where he is - or whether he's even alive - until about halfway through the film.
"Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez," Bendjelloul said during a brief on-stage speech.
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."
"Searching for Sugar Man" was a favorite among a strong field on contenders, having won already at the Directors and Writers Guild Awards, the Critics Choice Awards and the BAFTAs. The other nominees Sunday night were "5 Broken Cameras," `'The Gatekeepers," `'How to Survive a Plague" and "The Invisible War."
The voting process for the documentary category underwent an overhaul this year intended to limit the nomination of obscure films, and ensure that a larger group of documentary filmmakers winnowed the nominees.
The 85th Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with host Seth MacFarlane.