Private Project

Sugar (Pilot)

After returning home from a court-mandated stay in a psych ward, Alys attempts to reconnect with her life prior to a hazy incident. Notices of eviction, termination of employment and lost memories from a distraught night plague her. However, they are the least of her worries. Her escort sibling, Cherry, has gone missing.

Simultaneously attempting to recall the events of the past weeks with little success and searching for hints as to where Cherry might be, she decides to break into her sister's apartment. To her great surprise, she is not alone. Vixen, a "Harley Quinn-esque" gender bending escort, bears troubling news.

The evidence is alarming. A bloody phone. Troubling text messages. And an intricately organized closet with nicknames and phone numbers attached to each hanger.

With every new discovery, Cherry's disappearance slowly seems to point to a more troubling reality: a kidnapping.

But why Cherry? Who could have taken Cherry? Is Cherry still alive?

It remains quite simple. With nothing but a closet full of secrets and suspects and Cherry's bloody phone, Alys must infiltrate the Red Light District as "Sugar" in order to figure out what happened to Cherry, regardless of the danger...or personal cost.
Simultaneously attempting to recall the events of the past weeks with little success and searching for hints as to where Cherry might be, she decides to break into her sister's apartment. To her great surprise, she is not alone. Vixen, a fellow gender bending escort, bears alarming news.

With every new discovery, Cherry's disappearances slowly seems to point to a more troubling reality: a kidnapping.

But why Cherry? Who could have taken Cherry? Is Cherry still alive?

It is quite simple. Alys must infiltrate the world of night as "Sugar" in order to figure out what happened to Cherry,
regardless of the danger...or personal cost.

  • Joshua Maheu
    Director
    L'Arpège (2019)
  • Joshua Maheu
    Writer
    L'Arpège (2019)
  • Sophia Sarmadi
    Writer
  • Seamus Quinn
    Writer
  • Tian Fu
    Producer
  • Marie V. Sharp
    Key Cast
    “Alys”
  • Liam Gordon Snyder
    Key Cast
    “Vixen”
  • Robert Jack Duarte
    Key Cast
    “Ted”
  • Hannah Memory Myers
    Key Cast
    “Cherry”
  • Joshua Maheu
    Created By
    L'Arpège (2019)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student, Television, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 20, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    700 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • Lift-Off Sessions
    Online Event
    Online Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Joshua Maheu

French Canadian award-winning screenwriter/director Joshua Maheu first pursued an educational path in Communications Studies at Concordia University, in Montreal, before fully committing to his passion of storytelling.

Within his curriculum, his final film project S.U.G.A.R. (2017) truly led him to his filmic debut while winning his first award at the North American Film Awards.

After completing his bachelor’s degree, his pursuit took him to the sought-after Vancouver Film School where he completed a one-year film production degree. During said year, he wrote and directed his most recent award-winning success: L'Arpège (2019).

Having curated summers and worked at camps for children with disabilities for ten years, L’Arpège remains a truly introspective and intimate project. He wrote the piece as a response to the representation of people with disabilities in cinema.

Thus far, L'Arpège has won Best Soundtrack at the 2020 Reale Film Festival and four finalist awards for Best Short Film (i.e. Eurasia Fest 2020, Florence Film Festival 2019, 1904 Deaf Film Festival) and Audience's Choice (1904 Deaf Film Festival); while having accumulated multiple official selections worldwide, with its North American Premiere scheduled later this summer.

As he is excited to conclude L’Arpège's festival run, Joshua is currently developing his first series, which has already won a Finalist Award for Best TV Script at the 2020 Wiki Screenwriting Contest.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This series is all about showcasing the world of escorting the RIGHT way, while implementing a feminine sensitive sense of empowerment.

"Sugar" shows the realities of escorting. The fact that most escort are actually part of the trans community. Some escort don't even have a sexual contract with their clients. Some escorts provide better counseling to their clients in one evening than any psychologist can.

But the truth of the matter remains, due to escorting and sex work being illegal in most countries, these workers get lured and trapped into human trafficking. Even more frightening is the fact that the legal world pays very little attention to the disappearances. But why? Well, profits from forced sexual labor are estimated at $99 Billion worldwide.

Sugar implies the need for action, through an enticing world and passionate story arc.

Neon lights. Enchantresses of the night. And murder mystery frights.