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Sony Pictures Classics has kicked of Sundance with the acquisition of North American rights to Malik Bendjelloul‘s documentary Searching For Sugar Man, which premiered on Thursday night in the world documentary competition. A source says the sale price was in the mid-six figures.
The film tells the story of wannabe rock star Rodriguez, who was discovered in a Detroit bar in the 1960s and positioned as the next American rock god but his album bombed and he faded into obscurity. When a bootleg recording of one of his performances made its way to apartheid South Africa, he became a phenomenon in the country. The film follows two South African fans on a strange mission to try to find out what happened to their rock star idol.
“Searching for Sugar Man is an incredible story that we can’t wait to share with American audiences,” Sony Classics co-heads Michael Barker and Tom Bernard said in a statement.
The film was produced by Simon Chinn of Red Box Films (Project Nim, Man on Wire) and executive produced by John Battsek of Passion Pictures (The Tillman Story). Battsek previously worked with SPC on the Oscar winner One Day in September as well as My Kid Could Paint That.
Josh Braun and David Koh at Submarine Entertainment brokered the deal with Sony Classics, with Protagonist Pictures handling International Sales.
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