Malik Bendjelloul, Oscar winning director of ‘Searching for Sugarman’  the story of the remarkable musican Rodriguez, has died aged 36.

I made contact with Steve Rowland overnight to ask for his reflections on Malik.
Steve was the record producer of ‘Coming from Reality’ , the second and final album of Rodriguez , and appears in the documentary as well.

Thanks for the e-mail, Rhett. It’s much appreciated.

Malik Bendjelloul and I became very good friends during the making of Sugar Man. In fact we stayed in touch after the film had been completed. We spoke many times about working together again on other projects. I was in the process of developing a TV series based on my book, “Hollywood Heat-Untold Stories.” We’d been discussing the possibility of getting together and tossing ideas about. However, he was about to get involved in a new project and told me we’d have to wait until that was finished.

The last time that I saw Malik was in New York in October last year. We joined up for Rodriguez’s Radio City Music Hall concert, which by the way was sold out.

We spoke and e-mailed each other many times after that.

It’s such a huge tragedy, his death. He had his whole life ahead of him. To die at 36 seems so unfair.

Malik Bendjelloul and Sixto Rodriguez are two of the most talented individuals that I’ve ever known. Malik brought the world’s attention to the wonder of Rodriguez, but the world has been cheated from ever knowing the creative genius of Malik Bendjelloul.


(above: Malik Bendjelloul, Rodriguez, Steve Rowland at the LA Film Festival premiere of ‘Searching for Sugarman’)