Closing night to feature Sugar, official selection at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Director/Writer: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Country: US (2008)
Language: English, Spanish
Running Time: 114 minutes
Screening: Sunday, March 29, 7:00 p.m.
Writer/directors Fleck and Boden will be on hand for Q&A following the screening.
Read Erik McClanahan’s review of this film.

Following up on their 2006 debut of the indie hit Half Nelson, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck bring audiences the story of Miguel “Sugar” Santos, a talented baseball hopeful who journeys from a poverty-stricken village in the Dominican Republic to a minor league farm team in rural Iowa. Once there, he struggles with the language barrier, cultural differences and a growing sense of isolation, despite the well-meaning efforts of his host family. When he starts to falter on the mound, Santos questions the single-mindedness of his ambition, something that began as a drive to lift his family out of poverty. Shot on location in the Dominican Republic, Arizona, Iowa and New York City, the film, an unconventional look at one immigrant’s story, redefines what it means to chase the American dream.

“We were less interested in the stories of the superstar Dominican players we’ve all heard of,” says writer and director Fleck. “We wanted to know the stories of the guys that you’ve never heard of and you never will hear of.” Boden, co-writer and co-director, notes, “It’s not a typical story about someone trying to make good and lead the team to championship. It’s about a person trying to adjust to a totally new world. It’s a new take on the immigrant experience . . .”
In addition screening at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, Sugar was nominated for the dramatic category Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Sugar was nominated for the 2009 Independent Spirit Award’s best screenplay.

Filmmaker magazine’s Brandon Harris describes Sugar as having “a grace and tonal dexterity that is all too rare in American cinema. The supremely talented duo behind 2006’s indie hit and Academy Award-nominated Half Nelson have invented one of the most touching characters of recent memory, Miguel “Sugar” Santos.”

See a preview of Sugar.