‘Searching for Sugar Man’ shortlisted

2012-12-10 00:00

SEARCHING for Sugar Man, the documentary about two South Africans who set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s singer Rodriguez, has made it onto the shortlist for next year’s Oscars.

The film, which won Documentary Feature of the Year at the Durban International Film Festival (Diff) in July and is still playing at Cinema Nouveau Gateway in Umhlanga, is one of 15 films named by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a possible nominee in the documentary feature category. A total of 126 pictures originally qualified in the category.

Searching for Sugar Man tells the story of Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, who was almost completely overlooked by record buyers, despite garnering critical acclaim from music journalists for his first album Cold Fact.

The singer, whose songs include Sugarman and I Wonder, subsequently disappeared from the music scene altogether. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez or his representatives, however, in places like Australia and South Africa, he was a huge success, due in part to Cold Fact’s anti- establishment viewpoint.

Years later, two fans in South Africa — Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom — stumble upon an astonishing fact that sets them off on the journey to uncover the secrets of their hero’s life.

Also on the academy shortlist is another Diff film, 5 Broken Cameras, in which Palestinian freelance cameraman and photographer, Emad Burnat, chronicles the activisim of the people of Bil’in.

These two films are up against: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Bully, Chasing Ice, Detropia, Ethel, The Gatekeepers, The House I Live In, How to Survive a Plague, The Imposter, The Invisible War, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, This Is Not a Film and The Waiting Room.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations take place on January 10 next year.

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