CultureMichel Duran

Sugartown, bridging the gap between stage and screen.

CultureMichel Duran
Sugartown, bridging the gap between stage and screen.

Sugartown is a dark comedy centered on the efforts of two struggling independent film-makers who embark on a series of robberies in a desperate attempt to raise funds for their movie and the central role Violet, a young outcast, is playing in the trio they end up forming. Harry and Oslo are in the middle of another unsuccessful attempt to raise capital to fund their movie, Sugartown. The shiny dreams of Hollywood both started out with have been reduced to the dispiriting reality of camping rough to save money and cold-calling reluctant dentists as potential investors. We meet them as they drift across countryside arguing about such important topics as which actors could convincingly play ‘man in a tent’, and how often Ryan Gosling gets his balls waxed. Comes Violet, and far from being scared by these two losers, she takes the lead on the rocky road of independent filmmaking.


Writer producer Ed Chatterton and actor producer Michel Duran are taking quite an unconventional route in pushing both the stage and screen version of the story.

The idea germinated since the beginning of the project when doing a first casting session in Vancouver, BC. Chatterton and Duran realized that the premises of the story could very much be told on stage, has its own life as well as create some buzz for the coming movie.

The stage version was also a reflexion of the chances of independent filmmakers. Making an independent movie these days is indeed quite suicidal as it seems that less and less time is given for a movie to sink in its audience. 

“The filmmaker is reduced to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer,” Martin Scorsese argued in a recent article about the challenges movies are facing now a days. The competition is fierce as we live in a saturated information environment. Movies are less and less considered an art form, more or less a consumer product that comes and goes barely entertaining and always prone to harsh criticism. “People seemed to be out for blood, simply because the film couldn't be easily defined or interpreted or reduced to a two-word description,” Scorsese continued. “Good films by real filmmakers aren’t made to be decoded, consumed, or instantly comprehended. They’re not even made to be instantly liked. They’re just made, because the person behind the camera had to make them.”

The play is now in the process of fine tuning, a first version having been written. The idea being to forge artistic and business collaborations with like minded individuals and theatre organizations. 

Ideally we would love to have the play performed in these stage and screen theatres where you can watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show stage production and a week later pay an hommage to its movie adaptation dancing and singing along.
— Ed Chatterton & Michel Duran

Originally from France, I moved to Vancouver, BC in 1997 after falling in love with the city while searching for a training base for a round-the-world athletic expedition. I’m an athlete turned actor, and very much involved in endurance sports. Three times IRONMAN® finisher.