Malik Bendjelloul, the Swedish director of the acclaimed "Searching for Sugar Man" documentary, was widely known for his enthusiasm, kindness and high spirits — so the news Wednesday that he had taken his own life shocked colleagues around the world. Bendjelloul's brother Johar Bendjelloul confirmed to The Associated Press that his 36-year-old younger brother killed himself Tuesday. He told daily Aftonbladet that his brother had struggled with depression for a short period. "Life is not always simple," Johar Bendjelloul was quoted as saying, adding that receiving the message that his brother had killed himself was the worst thing he had ever experienced. "I don't know how to handle it. I don't know," he said.
Making the first buy of a Cannes competition title, Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up North American rights to Bertrand Bonello’s "Saint Laurent," a portrait of the famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent, starring Gaspard Ulliel. The film, set to debut at the fest on May 17, was written by Bonello and Thomas Bidegain and also stars Lea Seydoux. It was produced by EuropaCorp and Mandarin Cinema and co-produced by Orange Studios, with EuropaCorp handling international sales.
Katey Sagal has joined the cast of Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to 2012’s hit comedy from Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Films. Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow are among those reprising their roles, while Hailee Steinfeld is among the new performers.
The glamour of Cannes and nearby Monaco are wedded on screen in "Grace of Monaco," which opens the 67th Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday night, but critics at an advance press screening saw no marriage made in heaven. The film stars Nicole Kidman as the American actress Grace Kelly who married Prince Rainier to become Princess Grace. French director Olivier Dahan latest film stirred a dispute with producer Harvey Weinstein, who owns the American distribution rights, over the final cut that under French law belongs to the director. In a scathing review, the Indywire blog said, "It’s hard to see how Harvey Weinstein's edit of the film could be any worse than this one."