The South African Film Festival (SAFF) is a not-for-profit event organised by a group of passionate volunteers to showcase South African talent, culture and diversity and to support educational opportunities for disadvantaged children.
Riding with Sugar is set in spectacular Cape Town, against the backdrop of Table Mountain. Cape Town is the second most populated city in South Africa, with Johannesburg claiming the top honour of first place.
Joshua is totally obsessed with his bicycle, intent on becoming a champ!
Joshua, the young man in Riding with Sugar, is totally BMX cycling obsessed! His dream is to make it big in the world of off-road cycle racing and whilst waiting for his dream to become reality, keeps himself busy working as a waiter in a local bar.
Refugees who arrive in South Africa, generally do not have valid passports or valid entry visas, having arrived usually, via illegal means. This generally means that work opportunities are not always readily available to them even though their work ethics are usually of a very high standard.
Joshua at the Library with some of the other refugee boys
One night on his way home on his bicycle, Joshua is hit by a car. This young man survives the crash, but unfortunately has sustained serious injuries to his leg, making it impossible for him to continue with his aspirations of becoming a BMX champion.
Mambo is an immaculate, ever so slightly garishly dressed, gentleman who runs a very clean and comfortable orphanage - called the Library - homing energetic refugee boys, who have arrived in Cape Town, from a diverse selection of African countries. Mambo takes Joshua in after the accident, providing him with clothing, food, school tutoring plus an after-school 'job', delivering 'books' to the neighbourhood. Joshua is constantly haunted by flashbacks of fear and destruction in his country of origin and Riding with Sugar's theme is interspersed with these frightening war-torn images. All Joshua wants is to feel like he belongs, to feel safe and to feel loved!
Whilst rehabilitating his leg, Joshua meets Olivia, a dancer from a privileged background, who assists him with rehab, whilst Mambo helps Joshua with his continued schooling, determined to get him to a university entrance level. The two, Joshua and Olivia, soon become romantically involved …
Run Time | 106 minutes Rating | MA15 plus - persons aged under 15 need to be accompanied by an adult Director, Writer | Sunu Gonera Cinematography | Rory O'Grady Producer | Helena Spring, Sunu Gonera Cast | Charles Mnene, Simona Brown, Hakeem Kae Kazim
Writer's Opinion:Riding with Sugar was a bit slow initially, but stick with it and viewers will be very quickly rewarded with a movie that gains momentum with lively, colourful and exciting action-packed scenes. It's a coming of age, feel good movie with awesome soundtracks and is definitely worthy of a bookmark.