Film Fund Honoring 'Searching for Sugar Man' Director Launched

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Malik Bendjelloul

The Malik Bendjelloul Memorial Foundation is named after the Oscar-winning director who took his own life last year.

A film foundation named after the late director of Searching for Sugar Man that aims to set up a $10 million fund to support documentary filmmakers was launched Monday in Stockholm.

The Malik Bendjelloul Memorial Foundation is named after the Swedish-born producer of a film that won the hearts of Sundance selectors before going on to win an Oscar.

The touching story of a gifted musician rescued from obscurity became an international hit and brought Malik Bendjelloul overnight success.

Yet a year after Benjelloul had stood in Los Angeles, Oscar statuette in hand, he was dead from suicide having thrown himself beneath a Stockholm metro train during a busy rush hour on a Tuesday afternoon.

Now, on what would have been his 38th birthday, his family and Swedish documentary producers have launched a fund in his memory, with 100,000 Euros ($108,000) in seed funding from Carl Douglas, of Sweden's Deep Sea Productions.

The fund — which organizers hope will increase a hundred-fold to produce a sustainable foundation of $10 million — is designed to support creative and talented documentary filmmakers who are connected with Sweden or working with Swedish partners.

The foundation, which will make its first grants in September 2016, aims to create an enduring legacy for the "inventiveness and creative genius" that characterized Benjelloul, Malcolm Dixelius, a Stockholm-based producer and chairman of the board, told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Members of the board and Malik's family felt this would be a good way to pay tribute to Malik; we want to support talented young filmmakers with the same sort of passion he had."

Details of the foundation and ways to support it can be found at http://malikfund.org

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