It was the first time since 1951 that a Swede won an Oscar for best documentary when Malik Bendjelloul with his Searching for Sugar Man in 2013 won the highest award for filmmaking. In Sommar i P1 Bendjelloul tells the story about the long process behind the movie and how close it was that the whole project was shut down.
- When the film was 90% finished, after three years of work in the cutting room, the main backer of the film told me that the movie was shit. It “didn’t stand up to the requirements for films shown on the big screen”.
Malik Bendjelloul tells in his program that he, expecting more money to come shortly, used up all his savings and started to borrow money from friends and acquaintances to finance his movie. But when his main backer pulled out, Bendjelloul was in deep trouble.
- I was in deep trouble and I realized this could be the final blow for the project.
After many happy and peculiar circumstances the film could still be finished and became no less than a global success. In Sommar i P1 Malik Bendjelloul tells us the story about all the outside pressures he experienced from Hollywood agents directly after the Academy Awards ceremony.
- They told me that the film business has a memory of an elephant and you’re just hot for three months. So hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, not a minute to lose… I went on a safari trip instead.
Malik Bendjelloul also reveals some of the other documentary projects he has thought about doing but have not happened. The story about setting a million pounds of fire is about how the musician Bill Drummond desperately trying to alleviate a writer’s block by setting all the money the band had earned – a million pounds – on fire. Naturally, he was filled with regret shortly after, says Bendjelloul in his Sommar i P1. But the ambition to create something without demands or expectations and recreate the same feeling as the first time continually fascinated Drummond.
Bendjelloul ends his Sommar i P1 through concluding that the things we create today, things we might not even ourselves value, can have a different value in the future. But the creating itself is what valuable, he says.
- You’ll just want to put your own millions given to you through success on fire. Because the real fun, that is the creating iself.