IMDb > Sugar (2008/I)
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Sugar (2008/I) More at IMDbPro »

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Sugar -- A gifted pitcher travels from his home in the  Dominican Republic to play minor league  baseball in the U.S., where he struggles with  the new culture and the pressure of knowing  that only his success can rescue his family.
Sugar -- A drama centered on Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a 19-year-old Dominican baseball star who is given a shot in the U.S. minor leagues.
Sugar -- This is a clip from the movie Sugar.
Sugar -- This is a clip from the movie Sugar
Sugar -- This is a clip from the movie Sugar.


User Rating:
7.2/10   4,032 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Anna Boden (written by) &
Ryan Fleck (written by)
View company contact information for Sugar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 April 2009 (USA) See more »
Dominican baseball star Miguel "Sugar" Santos is recruited to play in the U.S. minor-leagues. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 wins & 7 nominations See more »
(211 articles)
Cannes Film Review: ‘Mercenary’
 (From Variety - Film News. 22 May 2016, 12:46 PM, PDT)

The Americans Review: Like Sugar Glass
 (From 6 April 2016, 8:47 PM, PDT)

DVD Review: Mississippi Grind
 (From CineVue. 7 March 2016, 3:04 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
About what is important in life See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Jose Rijo ... Alvarez
Walki Cuevas ... Alfonso

Algenis Perez Soto ... Miguel
Santo Silvestre ... Umpire #1
Emmanuel Nanita Carvajal ... Reyes
Cesar Emilio Minaya C. ... Pedro
Joendy Pena Brown ... Marcos
Kelvin Leonardo Garcia ... Salvador
Marcos Rosa ... Sanchez

Karl Bury ... Rudy
Zaida Alexandra Hernandez ... Erica
Lilin Soto Gonzales ... Abuela
Dioni Feliciano ... Luis
Teodosia Sanchez Reyes ... Carmen
Walky Alvarez ... Sofia
Letilier A. Foy Jr. ... Jaime
Victor Manuel Adon ... Javier
Raul Abraham ... Floor Manager
Manuel Cache ... Uncle Angel
Gisselle Jimenez ... Cousin Lupe
Omayra Perez Soto ... Prima Omayra
Francia Teresa Andujar ... Aunt Lola
Michel Junior Sanchez ... Cousin Felipe
Herny Severino ... Neighbor Ana
Wilson Daniel ... Uncle Jeffe
Braulio Castillo ... Frank
Conrad Layton ... Julio
Carlos Fermin ... Antonio
Rayniel Rufino ... Jorge
Marla Frumkin ... Waitress (as Marla Finn)

André Holland ... Brad (as Andre Holland)
Gerardo J. Ramirez ... Orlando
Jesus A. Diaz ... Ed

Michael Gaston ... Stu
Ann Whitney ... Helen Higgins

Richard Bull ... Earl Higgins

Ellary Porterfield ... Anne
Barbara P. Engstrom ... Hilary
Larry E. Donaldson ... Michael
Issac Thomas Richer Smith ... Clubby
Randolph Wehofer ... Jack Jeffries
Scott Behn ... Umpire #2
Jonathan Gregoire ... Jackass
Brandon Steinbrecher ... Jeff
Brandon Robert Gorrell ... Randy
Ian R. Wiley ... Travis
Holly Hanson ... Wendy
Ted Timbrook ... Umpire #3
Don Umland ... Umpire #4
Chris Harkins ... Batter
Alina Vargas ... Reyna

Eddie Martinez ... Rafael (as J. Eddie Martinez)
Sándor Técsy ... Nikolai (as Sandor Tecsy)

Karolina Wydra ... Raquel

Jaime Tirelli ... Osvaldo
Rafael Espinal ... Caballo
Jose Luis Romero ... José
Hamlet Abreu ... Hamlet
Jean Carlos Rodriguez ... Jean
Harrison Alvarado ... Harrison
Roger Pena ... Roger
Ramon Calderon ... Umpire #5
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Richard Anderson ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Joseph Basile ... Subway Commuter (uncredited)

Byron Browne ... Kansas City Major League Ball Player (uncredited)
Rhett Ashley Crosby ... Kansas City Baseball Player (uncredited)

Greg D'Agostino ... Gregory the Delivery Man (uncredited)
Adam Denomme ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Christopher Denomme ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)

Brendan Dunphy ... Baseball Player / Brawler (uncredited)

Christian Esparza ... Extra (uncredited)

James J. Fuertes ... Bouncer (uncredited)
Taylor Hogue ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Chris Irizarry ... Baseball Player (uncredited)

Tomas Johansson ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)

Marcus Jordan ... Kansas City Pitcher (uncredited)
Ed Kalegi ... Stadium Public Address Announcer (uncredited)
Jason H. Karniol ... Kansas City Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Jack C. Kloppenborg ... Wisconsin Rattler Player (uncredited)

Rita Kurtz ... Dominican Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Dave Mahr ... Kansas City Major League Baseball Player (uncredited)
Sabien Minteer ... Hardy / Team Mascot (uncredited)
Antonia Molina ... Wife (uncredited)
Daren Palacio ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Joseph Rao ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)

Alyssa Simmons ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)

Jeremy Ray Smolik ... Baseball Player (uncredited)
Tom Sponberg ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Michael Robert Yeager ... Fan at Spring Training Game (uncredited)
Chelsea Zeleny ... Baseball Fan (uncredited)

Directed by
Anna Boden 
Ryan Fleck 
Writing credits
Anna Boden (written by) &
Ryan Fleck (written by)

Produced by
Anna Boden .... executive producer
Denton Hanna .... field producer: Arizona
Paul Mezey .... producer
John Douglas Miller .... field producer: Iowa
Jamie Patricof .... producer
Jeremy Kipp Walker .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Brook 
Cinematography by
Andrij Parekh 
Film Editing by
Anna Boden 
Casting by
Cindy Tolan 
Production Design by
Beth Mickle 
Art Direction by
Michael Ahern 
Set Decoration by
Richard Bailey 
Costume Design by
Erin Benach 
Makeup Department
Lisa DelleChiaie .... key hair stylist
David Kalahiki .... additional makeup artist: New York
Chrissy Kernes .... additional hair stylist: Arizona
Chrissy Kernes .... additional makeup artist: Arizona
Johnny Mooi .... additional hair stylist: Iowa
Johnny Mooi .... additional makeup artist: Iowa
David Presto .... additional makeup artist: New York
Leo Won .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Sarah Connors .... post-production supervisor
Ronny Merdinger .... unit production manager
Dave Saltzman .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mariela Comitini .... first assistant director
Nicole Real .... second second assistant director: Dominican Republic
Jamie Ellen Rush .... second assistant director: New York
Jamie Ellen Rush .... second second assistant director: Arizona
Jamie Ellen Rush .... second second assistant director: Iowa
Nadia Tabbara .... second second assistant director: New York
Juan M. Zuniga .... second assistant director: Arizona
Juan M. Zuniga .... second assistant director: Dominican Republic
Juan M. Zuniga .... second assistant director: Iowa
Art Department
Matthew Amenta .... assistant property master
Jeremy L. Balon .... property master
Travis Black .... art department: Arizona
Corbin Booth .... leadman
Jared Bumgarner .... leadman
Tyler Drayton .... set dresser
Ricardo Folch .... on set dresser
Gina Freedman .... on-set dresser
Rachel Jones .... art coordinator
Daniel R. Kersting .... assistant set decorator
Dan-ah Kim .... art production assistant
Elvis Mariñez .... assistant property master
Darryl Parsons .... on-set dresser
Sound Department
Bryan Dembinski .... additional production sound recordist: New York
Tom Efinger .... sound re-recording mixer
Tom Efinger .... supervising sound editor
David Ellinwood .... dialogue editor
Eric Gitelson .... foley engineer
John Moros .... foley editor
Abigail Savage .... sound designer
Jeff Seelye .... assistant sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Josh M. Allen .... electrician: New York
Joe Anderson .... additional assistant camera: New York
Nathan Beaman .... best boy grip: Arizona
Justin Bennett .... grip: New York
Katie Dainson .... loader
Shannon DeWolfe .... assistant camera: Iowa
Denton Hanna .... still photographer: Arizona
Rob Harlow .... best boy grip: New York
Tim Hawn .... assistant camera: Iowa
Andy Kromphardt .... camera intern: Iowa
Andy Kromphardt .... camera production assistant: Arizona
Andy Kromphardt .... camera production assistant: New York
Adam Lukens .... best boy grip: Dominican Republic
Adam Lukens .... key grip: Arizona
Lee Lusby .... grip
Ian McAlpin .... film loader: New York
Mike 'Electric' Mervilde Jr. .... gaffer
Smokey Nelson .... additional photographer
Smokey Nelson .... gaffer: Dominican Republic
Rick Pilcher .... electrician
Kent Pope .... electrician
Aaron Randall .... electrician: New York
Samantha Sa .... grip: New York
Jay Sgroi .... additional electrician: New York
Jay Todd .... grip
Matthew Walker .... key grip: Dominican Republic (as Matt Walker)
Hunter Whalen .... additional second assistant camera
Dave Wightman .... first assistant camera: "b" camera, Iowa
Jarrod Wilson .... grip
Casting Department
Patrice Farner .... extras casting: Arizona
Shaun Gerardo .... casting associate
Rita Powers .... extras casting: New York
Sean Powers .... extras casting: New York
Tom Walljasper .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Caroline Flach .... seamstress
Stephani Lewis .... assistant costume designer
Emma Potter .... costume supervisor
Elisa Santiago .... wardrobe supervisor
Karla Strum .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Andrew Blackwell .... associate editor
Dana Bloder .... digital intermediate producer
Jessica Elvin .... digital intermediate editor
Andrew Goldman .... post-production coordinator
Richie Roefaro .... colorist assistant
Daniel Silverman .... digital imaging supervisor
Tim Stipan .... digital intermediate colorist
Patricia Sztaba .... negative matcher
Stan Sztaba .... negative matcher
Kevin Vale .... digital film scanning and recording
Michael P. Whipple .... digital intermediate engineer
Location Management
Melinda Burns .... location assistant
Leonardo Cuesta .... location manager: Dominican Republic
Shannon Dennard .... location scout: New York
Trish Gray .... location scout: New York
John Henry .... location manager: New York
Melvin Nadal .... location assistant: Dominican Republic
Rolando Sanchez .... assistant location manager: Dominican Republic
Willie Toubman .... assistant location manager: New York
Music Department
Lynn Fainchtein .... music supervisor
Evyen Klean .... music consultant (as Evyen J Klean)
Annette Kudrak .... music editor
Nicholas Schenck .... assistant music editor (as Nicholas J. Schenck)
Transportation Department
Gill Manuel Pena .... transportation captain: Dominican Republic
Other crew
Bladimir Abud .... production assistant: Dominican Republic
Vince Brown .... key set production assistant: New York
Vince Brown .... set production assistant: Arizona
Vince Brown .... set production assistant: Iowa
Andrea F. Cannistraci .... production legal
Yinna De La Cruz .... set production assistant: Dominican Republic
Kristyn DiPane .... project manager: Technicolor New York
Patrick Eaton .... production assistant: New York
Hector Eduardo .... pitching coach: Dominican Republic
Andrew Goldman .... production coordinator
Sandi Greenberg .... production assistant: New York
Timothy P. Haskins .... assistant production coordinator: Arizona
Albert Krause .... production accountant
Jon Kussmaul .... production assistant: New York
Austin Lapierre .... production assistant: Arizona
John Marx .... baseball consultant: Iowa
Ginny Nugent .... production executive
Mike Orchard .... baseball consultant: Arizona
Emily Pendas .... script supervisor
Nicole Pilcher .... assistant production coordinator: la (as Christine Nicole Pilcher)
Julie Platner .... production coordinator
Rob Plonskier .... production assistant
Francisco Gomez Polanco .... security chief: Dominican Republic
Jose Rijo .... baseball consultant: Dominican Republic
Javier Rojas .... craft service
Spring Sutter .... post production accountant
Mike Tank .... production assistant: Arizona
Neal Welty .... production assistant
Kenneth Yanga .... production assistant: Arizona
Tze Chun .... special thanks
Craig Kestel .... special thanks
Jeremy Pikser .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language, some sexuality and brief drug use
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (British Columbia) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Ireland:12A | Malaysia:U | USA:R (certificate #44335) | USA:PG-13 (certificate #45356) (dvd edition)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Some of the last names of the Quad City Swing players in the film were those of actual players on the team. However, they were not portrayed by the real Swing players. During filming, the real players were still in their regular season and then post-season.See more »
Continuity: When Miguel is pitching to the Loons in the top of the fifth, the scoreboard already shows 0 runs. The score for a half inning is not registered until the half inning is completed.See more »
Earl Higgins:No drinking. No cervezas in the casa. No chicas in the bedroom.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "American Idol" (2002)See more »
Tu Seras Mi VidaSee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Sugar" based on a true story?
Is "Sugar" based on a book?
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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
About what is important in life, 5 October 2008
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

The success of Latin ball players like Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal, and Orlando Cepeda are legend but we never hear about the hundreds that fail, those who get lost in the system or are simply unable to handle the pressure of exorbitant signing bonuses or less than welcoming small town environments. In Sugar, writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose film Half Nelson from 2006 won numerous awards, have created a film about the problems faced by young Latinos in attempting to make the jump from the comforts of their home town environment to the major leagues. It is not just a movie about baseball but about what is important in life.

20-year-old Miguel Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) is nicknamed Sugar - he says because he is sweet on the ladies but others have different opinions. Sugar is a pitcher at an American baseball training academy in the Dominican Republic whose recently developed knuckle curve ball puts him ahead of the pack. He is the idol of his family and the children in his home town but must compete with hundreds of others like himself for an invitation to a minor league Spring Training camp. Though the baseball academy attempts to teach the fundamentals of the English language, all the players seem to remember is "home run", "foul ball", "I got it", and the words to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".

Given his gifts, Sugar is invited to spring training with the fictional Kansas City Knights in Phoenix, Arizona. Eventually assigned to a Single-A farm team in Bridgetown, Iowa, he is light years away from his comfort zone. When he first sees his posted assignment to Bridgetown, Ia. he asks "where the heck is Ia (ee-ay)"? Sugar boards with a Midwestern farm family that has taken in Latino players in the past, but the adjustment is difficult. Sugar does what is expected - attends church, eats foods he is unfamiliar with, and says little but his only companion is Jorge (Rayniel Rufino), a fellow Dominican on the team who has remained stuck in Single-A ball because of an injury that refuses to heal.

Soon his problem with language and customs begin to take their toll. He encounters racial slurs at a local nightclub and is confused when he receives mixed signals from the family's ultra religious teenage daughter Anne (Ellary Porterfield). When he is slow to recover from a leg injury sustained in covering first on a ground ball, his pitching skills begin to suffer as well. One scene highlights his sense of dislocation as he tries to make his way through a massive entertainment complex filled with flashing lights, video game machines, and bowling alleys. To try to regain his pitching form, he takes steroids but it only makes his sense of disorientation worse.

His manager (Johnny Marx) is patient but he is paid to produce results and his sensitivity to Sugar's situation only goes so far. When Sugar asks teammate Brad (Andre Holland) what he would do if he could no longer play baseball and learns that Brad studied history in college, he begins to rethink exactly what he wants to do with his life. After Jorge heads for New York after being let go, the film moves in an unexpected direction, but never loses its intelligence and sensitivity. Soto is a captivating presence in his first acting role and the fact that he is also a skilled amateur baseball player gives the baseball scenes an electric authenticity. While Boden and Fleck show their love of the game, they do not hide their disdain for its exploitative aspects. No clichéd sports success story, Sugar is sweet and goes down easy but leaves a pungent aftertaste.

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