Oscar success for Daniel Day-Lewis, Simon Chinn

By Jennifer Lipman, February 25, 2013
Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

A documentary about the hunt for an obscure musician earned a British Jewish producer a place in film history on Sunday evening.

Simon Chinn, the son of businessman Sir Trevor, went home with an Academy Award for the documentary Searching for Sugar Man.

Mr Chinn, a father of three who has been working in the industry since the late 1990s, is no stranger to Oscar success.

Four years ago he won Best Documentary Feature for his film Man On Wire, about daredevil Philippe Petit's death-defying tightrope walk between New York's Twin Towers.

The category was the same one that he and director Malik Bendjelloul picked up last night in Hollywood.

Their elusive subject was not in the audience, however. "He's genuinely a humble man, and he wanted to stay at home in Detroit watching television," said Mr Chinn.

Their film beat an Israeli film and a Palestinian film to triumph in the category.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Steven Spielberg, who failed to pick up his third Best Director trophy for the epic Lincoln.

But its star, Daniel Day-Lewis, whose mother was Jewish actress Jill Balcon, was named Best Actor at the ceremony, earning him his third Oscar and setting a record.

"I really don't know how any of this happened," he said in his acceptance speech. "I do know I've received much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life."

Last updated: 4:29pm, February 25 2013