Writer / Director
Baltimore native Sheldon Candis is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Candis recently created and directed the docu-narrative series ‘I WILL WHAT I WANT’, a cinematic portrait of ballet phenom Misty Copeland for Under Armour. Candis’ documentary THE DWELLING, chronicles the lives of two homeless men living along Tokyo's Sumida Gawa. The film is being distributed by Scion and Giant Robot magazine.
Candis’ feature directorial debut LUV (which he also co-wrote) was an official selection in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition. He assembled an incredible cast including Common, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Meagan Good, Michael K. Williams and a wonderful 11-year-old breakout talent named Michael Rainey Jr.
Within television, Candis developed the ABC event series A SLAVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, adapted from Elizabeth Dowling Taylor’s New York Times best-selling book based on the true story of personal valet Paul Jennings and his unique relationship with President James Madison. Jennings would write the first White House memoir along with historically saving George Washington’s portrait during the War of 1812. Jennings would become a ‘subversive abolitionist’, helping slavesacquire freedom twenty years before the establishment of the Underground Railroad.
Candis directed and produced the feature length documentary BALTIMORE BOYS for the prestigious ESPN 30 for 30 original films. The inspiring story of the greatest high school basketball team ever; the 1981’-83’ Dunbar Poets that achieved a 59-0 record over two undefeated seasons and produced four NBA players in David Wingate, Reggie Williams, Boston Celtic great Reggie Lewis, and a 5’3” tiny dynamo named Tyrone ‘Muggsy’ Bogues.
Candis directed WHO WILL SURVIVE AMERICA for the Sundance Now Doc Club original series Take 5: Justice in America. The short documentary chronicles America's love affair and easy accessibility to guns.
Candis penned THROW LIKE MO!, with Debra Martin Chase attached to produce. An upbeat music driven bio-pic on baseball wonder girl Mo’ne Davis who historically broke the gender barrier and dominated the all boys in the Little League World Series.
Candis teamed with Rocnation and Dreamville Grammy nominated artist J. Cole for the short film CROOKED SMILE. Crooked Smile is nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for ‘Best Video With A Social Statement.’ Candis is a prolific commercial director, having directed multiple branded shorts for Under Armour, Honda, Ford, Overstock, and Microsoft.
Candis’ first foray into Virtual Reality Documentary filmmaking comes with the BUS TO CANTON, the underdog story of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame Running Back Jerome ‘The Bus’ Bettis. Thefilm is the first long form sports documentary captured in VR. Produced by Guy Primus and Joel Newton for VRC.
Recently, Candis directed episodes on the John Singleton produced Detective Noir series REBEL, starring Giancarlo Esposito and Mykelti Williamson.
Currently, Candis is shooting WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE BRIGHTEST, the next chapter of the cult following video game series NBA 2K for Springhill Entertainment and 2K Studios. Executive Produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, starring Idris Elba, Rosario Dawson, Thomas Middleditch, and Lamorne Morris.
Artist's Chosen Interview:
How to Break Into Film Directing w/ Sheldon Candis | Ncredible Network | Black Hollywood Live
YouTube Channel: Every Frame a Painting
(A series of video essays about film form, made from April 2014 to September 2016, by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou)