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Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar ManStranger than fiction is the remarkable
  story of a star who never was; a gifted
  musician called Rodriguez discovered in
  a bar in Detroit in the late Sixties who
  disappeared into obscurity amid
  rumours of an horrific death; until two
  of his admirers found out his true fate in
  the fascinating documentary Searching
  For Sugar Man

HIS STAR WAS DESTINED NOT TO RISE in America in the late 1960s although his future had appeared assured when two high-profile music producers, Dennis Coffey — who had worked with such luminaries as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and Ringo Starr — and Mike Theodore discovered Rodriguez in a Detroit riverside bar and co-produced his first album, Cold Fact, released in 1970.

Hailed as the finest recording star of his generation, Rodriguez looked set for instant success, but unexpectedly the album bombed and the artiste vanished completely, sparking rumours of his suicide on stage by setting light to himself or shooting himself.

For Sugar Man
is a fantastic journey of
discovery of the man
and his music
and a talent that cannot
be ignored —
music that gets deep
into your soul
His talent, however, was too big to be contained and Rodriguez rose from the ashes thousands of miles away from his home, in apartheid South Africa. A copy of Cold Fact found its way to Cape Town and led first to bootleg copies and finally to his albums being released by a record company. Rodriguez was finally being recognised for his exceptional musical ability.

South African youngsters, long restricted by apartheid, welcomed the beautiful soulful melodies and inspirational prophetic lyrics that had convinced Dennis and Mike that Rodriguez would be the next 'big thing' in music. And so he should have been.

Everything had been in place to make it so, but such were the vagaries of the music world, even back then, that Rodriguez did not make it in his native land. Rodriguez has been described as an "inner City poet", writing about what he saw on the streets; a "wandering spirit", a wise man and a prophet.

Without doubt, the phenomenal success he found in South Africa seems at odds with his recordings not doing well in America. Certainly at that time he was very much a man of mystery and it was not until Cape Town record shop-owner Stephen "Sugar" Segerman and music journalist Craig Bartholomew-Strydon, both ardent admirers of Rodriguez, decided to track him down.

Had Rodriguez really committed suicide? Was it possible that he could still be alive? Determined to discover the truth, Stephen and Craig began their search for the enigmatic musician.

Their investigations opened up a story more extraordinary that the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez and to the release of Malik Bendjelloul's compelling Searching For Sugar Man, a documentary about the Mexican-American singer-songwriter whose original album should have secured his future.

The film, which has been described by BBC Radio 2 as "The Film Of The Year", is about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music. Searching For Sugar Man is a fantastic journey of discovery of the man and his music and a talent that cannot be ignored. Music that gets deep into your soul.

Rodriguez's music appears on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, available now through Sony Legacy Recordings and Light In The Attic Records. Comprising tracks from Cold Face and its 1971 follow-up, Coming From Reality (reissued to critical acclaim in 2008 and 2009 respectively), the soundtrack begins with the other-wordly Sugar Man. This too long overlooked musician entertains with a fusion of "gritty funk, political poetry and blissful psych-folk". Superb.

Rodriguez's recently rediscovered back catalogue is packed with social commentary, brilliant tunes and a genuine psychedelic classic his album Cold Fact. Anyone lucky enough to catch Rodriguez as he performed his songs on his UK tour, which included The Royal Festival Hall in London as well as Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton, would understand why Rodriguez was such a phenomenon in South Africa and would wonder why they had not known of him before.

With original songs by Rodriguez, Searching For Sugar Man is produced by Simon Chinn and Malik Bendjelloul; Director of Photography is Camilla Skagerström; Executive Producer is John Battsek; and Director is Malik Bendjelloul.

After receiving rave reviews upon it's theatrical release both in the UK and around the world, Malik Bendjelloul's acclaimed documentary of singer-songwriter Rodriquez has been named on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shortlist for the Best Documentary.

* From the Academy Award-winning Producer of Man On Wire, Searching For Sugar Man is released on DVD, Blu-ray and EST, courtesy of StudioCanal, on 27 December 2012.

DVD: Feature Running Time: 83 Minutes Approximately | HOH Subtitles | Catalogue Number: OPTD2480 | RRP: £17.99.

Blu-ray: Feature Running Time: 86 Minutes approximately | HOH Subtitles | Catalogue Number: OPTBD2480 | RRP: £22.99.

Extras: Making of Searching For Sugar Man; commentary with Rodriguez and Malik Bendjelloul.

"Searching For Sugar Man is a fantastic journey of discovery of the man and his music and a talent that cannot be ignored. Music that gets deep into your soul" Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Stunning. One of the greatest and most moving documentaries ever made" ***** Ali Catterall, Q magazine

"The all-too-credible story of a superstar that never was" **** Matt Glasby, Total Film

"An uplifting documentary showcasing a rare musical talent" **** Anna Smith, Empire

"Rock 'n' Roll's greatest untold story, 9/10" Ben Hopkins, Clash

"Terrific film and an amazing story" David Gritten, Daily Telegraph