Private Project

Sugar (S01E01)

After returning home from a court-mandated stay in a psych ward for defending an assault on an escort, Alys attempts to reconnect with her escort sister, Cherry. No answers. Straight to voicemail. As she sneaks into Cherry’s apartment, she meets Vixen, a “Harley Quinn-esque” gender bending escort coworker of Cherry’s, and both come to a troubling discovery: Cherry has been kidnapped. The evidence is alarming. Bloody phone. Ominous text messages.

But above all, Cherry’s intricately organized closet becomes the main attraction. With codenames and phone numbers attached to each hanger. Cherry’s closet may have Initially acted as her list of clients, but it quickly turns into a list of clues and suspects.

With no help from the authorities, Alys must take matters into her own hands and create an alter ego. A new skin. To infiltrate the sanguine world of night. As Sugar.

Having to tread carefully in the social waters of this World. A world of has-been Drag Queens. Diverse Trans women. And misogynistic men like our main antagonist, Elliot, the ringleader of the escort service. All culminating into a network of escorts & clients that would rather die than let the truth of Cherry’s disappearance come out.

As Sugar’s justice unfolds, the missing pieces will connect. Untangling the web of a dangerous human trafficking rink. Discovering that her closest allies are not what they seem.
What starts off as a pretty spectacle of neon lights and enticing soirées, will soon turn into dark warehouses filled with sequestered bodies.

  • Joshua Maheu
    L'Arpège (2019)
  • Joshua Maheu
    L'Arpège (2019)
  • Sophia Sarmadi
  • Seamus Quinn
  • Tian Fu
  • Marie V. Sharp
    Key Cast
  • Liam Gordon Snyder
    Key Cast
  • Robert Jack Duarte
    Key Cast
  • Hannah Memory Myers
    Key Cast
  • 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:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Vancouver Film School
  • 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

Depictions of escorts in television always showcase hypersexualized. Drugged up. And desperate women. Sugar is all about showcasing the World of escorting the right way. The good. The bad. True experiences. All from the heart.

What if I told you, for having been a part of this community, that in reality:
Most escorts and sex workers are actually part of Trans and Gay communities;
Many escorts don’t even have a sexual contract;

But 4.8 million victims every year get lured and trapped into human trafficking, because escorting is still illegal in most countries. Resulting in dangerous work spaces for this community and feeding the multi-billion dollar human trafficking industry.

Emotional. Thrilling. Rooted in complex characters. Sugar is an ode to feminine sensitive outcasts who dare to flip off societal norms…Every. Single. Day. With Excitement. Fierceness. And a wild ride into the sinful world of Night. Without a doubt, Sugar can become Gen Z’s anthem of representation. Liberation. And social validation.