We are shocked and saddened by the death of Malik Bendjelloul, the visionary young filmmaker whose debut, “Searching for Sugar Man,” was greeted with widespread acclaim, including the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary. We knew Malik as a unique spirit: smart, sweet and quirky. His death is a great loss not only to those who knew him, but to the entire documentary community, and the world of storytellers.

“Malik made an immediate impression on everyone at JustFilms,” says Cara Mertes, the program’s director. “His joyous and improbable film ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ showed Malik to be a huge talent, always passionate and focused on proving the impossible to be possible. Through all of his gifts, and just his sheer doggedness, Malik defined the indie spirit—everyone who met him could see that right away. JustFilms was supporting his next project, and we mourn the lost opportunities to celebrate the stories of wonder and imagination he would have brought to the world.”

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The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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