A Message from CORBIN BLEU:
A Message from CORBIN BLEU:
A Message from WES STUDI:
SUGAR, a new drama starring Shenae Grimes will be coming to theaters in early September. Our theatrical release will begin in Los Angeles and New York, and our goal is to follow those up with screenings in cities with large populations of homeless youth, including San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Portland and Orlando, Florida, the city where SUGAR director Rotimi Rainwater was homeless for nearly a year.
But our goals are far more than just pushing the ﬁlm as an artistic piece. The real power of SUGAR is in the social campaign that it will support. We want to raise enough support, money and passion to give away TEN THOUSAND FREE MEALS to homeless youth, while releasing SUGAR as widely as possible, raising awareness for this amazing cause.
How is this possible? It will take the efforts of our partners…
Film-anthropy:noun \film-ˈlan(t)-thrəә-pē\ - a film done or made for humanitarian purposes, to raise awareness or act as a tool to create change.
In early May Congresswoman Karen Bass screened SUGAR, and was so moved that she’s invited us to show the ﬁlm to Congress, on Capital Hill in Washington DC. This gives us the platform we need to launch our IndieGogo campaign and build the momentum necessary to help these ten thousand homeless young people. Stay tuned to further updates for interviews, videos and photos from our Congressional Screening on June 26th!
My Friend's Place is a privately funded safe haven for homeless youth, committed to helping young people build confidence, strength and self sufficiency. 90% of the funding they raise goes directly to supporting this at risk population.
"The first time I walked in there I knew it was a special place. They completely focus on the youth and take the time necessary to earn their trust. They opened their arms to us when they found out my story and knew that we truly wanted to do something to help. We ended up shooting all of our shelter scenes there and donated whatever we had in location fees to support them. In fact, we were able to give away 450 meals in the 2 ½ weeks of production, and many of the actors donated their fees to My Friend's Place. Our relationship with them is ongoing and their support for what we're trying to do with SUGAR and the social campaign is invaluable." Rotimi Rainwater, Director of SUGAR
Follow them @MFPLA
Rotimi Rainwater - Writer/Director
"In order to truly get the word out on a national level we need champions to help spread the word. We are working on getting a series of human interest stories in Variety, the LA Times, NY Times, and other publications. And it can be done. I am proof of that.
I’ve been on my own since I was 13. I never went to college, much less ﬁlm school. I’ve worked my way up in the business and never took “no” for an answer. The entire time I’ve been doing this ﬁlm I’ve heard every reason why this would never happen, but look where we are now. Please come aboard and help. I need your help. The ﬁlm needs your help. The cause needs your help. But most importantly, that 13-year-old girl who has never had anyone help her, who has given up on hope, who is sleeping next to a trash can in Venice, she needs your help. Please believe me when I say this, we truly can make a difference! Life can be bitter… Everyone could use a little SUGAR!"
“Working on SUGAR was an incredibly fulﬁlling experience for me and I'm grateful to Rotimi for trusting me to do the title character justice. For a month prior to ﬁlming I spent every free hour in Venice to truly learn this character and was quickly accepted by a group of travelers passing through. I will tell you with a passion -- it changed me. It opened my eyes in a terrifying and beautiful way. That's what I hope we achieve when people watch this ﬁlm. To open society's eyes to a massive problem we've created and one most of us turn away from every day and so the vicious cycle continues. We may not stop it but change and prevention are possible with understanding and perspective... SUGAR can help as part of that solution.”
"What ﬁrst attracted me to SUGAR was the opportunity to play a character that would extend the diversity of my acting career's repertoire. But becoming a part of the project opened up my eyes to an incredible world of both sadness and profound relieving moments of joy through camaraderie. I got to experience this ﬁrsthand, spending time with the homeless of Venice Beach. I am very proud of this ﬁlm's truth, message and capability to make a difference in a community of beautiful people I now share a connection with, who deserve our attention and support".
”The experience of SUGAR opened my eyes not only as an actor but as a human being to the world that lives without a home. It has allowed me a depth of compassion and understanding that I did not possess before I got to live it out for a small time. I am very proud to be a part of a ﬁlm that can not only help those fortunate enough to have a home and family experience the same transformation but also has a heart to help the very people it portrays.”
The MAKING LIFE A LITTLE SWEETER campaign will raise funds for two purposes: to support the cause and to insure as many people as possible have the chance to see this movie. With your help, the SUGAR team will change literally thousands of lives, while potentially impacting millions more who will experience the message in the film.
Here's the funding breakdown (less campaign fees):
50% of all contributions go to providing free meals to homeless youth.
50% of all contributions go to getting the word out about SUGAR, expanding our publicity and advertising efforts, helping the team land appearances on talk shows and interviews in media outlets and expanding our theatrical release into cities with heavy homeless youth populations.
It's a huge issue, but YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Helping us to feed 10,000 homeless youth is amazing, and we thank you for your time and contributions. We will continue our efforts to help homeless youth even after the Making Life a Little Sweeter Campaign has concluded, and with the film as a powerful resource will continue raising awareness about homeless youth across the country and across the world! It's our passion and our experiences that make us strive to help these kids have a sweeter life. You can continue your support by getting the word out and making some noise about SUGAR. Demand a screening in your city. Share your story or our message on social media. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter. However large or small the time you can give, help spread the word and the love! Reach out, make a difference.
Everyone deserves some Sugar in their Life!
Youth Homelessness refers to youth who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or caught in the cycle of homelessness. This includes the many homeless youth (some say as high as 80%) who don't live on the street and who are among the hidden homeless. The age definition of youth ranges from as young as 12 to as old as 29. Most often, youth are defined as 16-24 years old.
Facts about Homeless Youth:
- Comprise the fastest growing age group within the homeless population.
- Approximately 100 million youth living on the streets worldwide today.
- Approximately 1.7 million homeless teens in the US
- An estimated 65,000 youth are homeless across Canada.
- 39% of the homeless population is under 18.
- 5,000 young people die every year because of assault, illness or suicide while on the street.
- A U.S. Department of Health & Human Services study found that 46% of homeless youth left their home because of physical abuse. 17% left because of sexual abuse.
- Approximately 70-75% of homeless youth are 'local kids' from the surrounding geographic area.
- Studies have found high rates of mental problems among homeless youth, both as a cause and a consequence of homelessness.
- Over 50% of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care.
- Teens age 12 to 17 are more likely to become homeless than adults.
- The average age a teen becomes homeless is 14.7 years old
ABOUT THE FILM
Based on true events, SUGAR is the story of a young girl with a troubled past trying to survive on the streets of Venice Beach. Sugar suffers from PTSD after losing her entire family in a horriﬁc car crash. She survives with her group of outcast friends, all trying to ﬁnd their place in the world. Like so many homeless youth, Sugar is running from the pain of her past and will do anything to escape it. With the help of Bishop, her counselor in the youth shelter, she is able to reconnect with an uncle who has been searching for her. But Sugar’s world starts to crumble when she's forced to confront the demons she’s been running from for the last two years.
SUGAR is an all too common story of a troubled youth learning how to stop hiding and start healing. It's a realistic look at what forces so many young people onto the streets, and what they go through to survive. It is not a story of redemption; it is a story of reality.
Sugar – Shenae Grimes
Marshall – Marshall Allman
Sketch – Corbin Bleu
Free – Will Peltz
Ronnie – Austin Williams
Uncle Gene – Angus Macfadyen
Sister Nadia – Nastassja Kinski
Bishop – Wes Studi
We have a launched a 'DONATE A DOLLAR' Campaign. $1 goes a long way and if everyone who ever clicks on our page, likes our FB, followers us on twitter or hears about us donates just $1 we could reach our goal of feeding 10,000 homeless youth! Please share our campaign and get your friends to donate just $1 towards this fantastic cause and add some SUGAR into their lives and yours! Be a SWEET Fan of the SUGAR FILM PROJECT! Every little bit helps! Please help us, help them! Thank you.
Thank you to all the businesses that contributed to our campaign!