Sugar23 Signs Sterling Hampton IV, Director Of Sundance Docu Short ‘Merman’

Sugar23 Signs Sterling Hampton IV, Director Of Sundance Docu Short ‘Merman’

EXCLUSIVE: Following the Sundance debut of his newest documentary short, Merman, rising filmmaker Sterling Hampton IV has signed with Sugar23 for management.

Originally premiering at last year’s Tribeca Festival, Merman chronicles the life and times of Andre Chambers, a 58 year-old Black queer man otherwise known “Merman”, watching as he speaks about his life as an emergency nurse, leather enthusiast title-holder, and civil rights activist. Shot in Palm Springs over the course of a day, the film combining the mediums of digital film, 2D and 3D animation, and artificially-generated animation was directed, produced and edited by Hampton, who also penned the score.

Related Stories

Pic was selected by the Los Angeles Times as the first film to debut this season’s new slate of Short Docs, its series of docu shorts reflecting a West Coast perspective from diverse, acclaimed and emerging filmmakers who break with convention to present undiscovered stories that challenge, move and inspire audiences.

Previously, Hampton was in Sundance with the docu short Kylie, about a Black ballerina in South Los Angeles, which was also selected for Short Docs. A self-taught filmmaker and composer, and frequent collaborator with, he’s also directed, edited and shot music videos for the Black Eyed Peas and’s solo projects. In addition to co-directing the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson’s music video for “The Love,” he’s worked on campaigns for’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG, and directed and photographed commercial content in support of’s partnership with Honeywell to launch the “Xupermask” face mask.

Hampton launched his production company COTAM (Clash of The Artistic Minds), furthering his pursuits in feature films, docu-style branded content, music and fashion, in 2022.