Sixto Rodriguez is the subject of Searching for Sugarman. File photo: Reuters

Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary that maps the adventure of Capetonians Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom in their quest to track down 1970s folk singer Rodriguez, has won the best documentary prize at the 24th annual Producers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills, California.

The Detroit muso was a major hit in South Africa during apartheid and continues to have a wide fan base here.

Sixto Rodriguez, now 70, has several concerts scheduled around the world and in South Africa, thanks to the documentary.

Big Concerts announced earlier this month that a fourth Cape Town show has been added for Rodriguez’s tour in South Africa next month.

With three sold-out shows so far in Cape Town, the extra performance has been added due to overwhelming demand and will be taking place on February 9.

Rodriguez will also play at the Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York, and at festivals such as Glastonbury in Britain, Coachella in California, and Primavera in Spain.

The documentary, directed by Swede Malik Bendjelloul and produced by Man on Wire’s Simon Chinn, recently won the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best documentary.

It has also won the prizes for best documentary from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, as well as the award for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation from the Cinema Eye Honors, and two prizes from Dutch festival IDFA.

Searching for Sugar Man has also been nominated for an Oscar.

Meanwhile, Iran hostage drama Argo continued its trophy-winning streak at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, taking the top prize in the latest boost for its chances at the Oscars.

Guild picks regularly go on to win at the film industry’s most prestigious event – for the past five years, the producers’ choice of best-produced film has also won the best picture Oscar.

“I’m really surprised. I’m not even in the (Producers Guild of America),” Argo director, producer and star actor Ben Affleck said as he collected the award for the film that tells the true story of the rescue of US diplomats from Tehran after the start of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

“I am still acting and available,” added a smiling Affleck, joined on stage by co-producer Grant Heslov. George Clooney, also a producer, did not attend the event.

The Producers Guild of America prize is seen as a particularly good indicator of future success as many of the guild’s members are also members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who vote for the Oscars.

Argo was nominated earlier this month for a best film Oscar, but Affleck was overlooked in the director’s category.

Nevertheless, earlier this month, he won the Golden Globe for best director, while Argo won that for best movie drama.

Argo won the PGA prize against nine other films on Saturday, including Steven Spielberg’s presidential drama Lincoln, musical Les Miserables and Kathyrn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty.


The HBO film Game Change, about Sarah Palin’s 2008 vice-presidential bid, won the prize for outstanding long-form television and ABC’s Modern Family that for best-produced TV comedy. Homeland was named the best-produced TV drama.

JJ Abrams, who is to direct the Star Wars film, received an achievement award for his television work.