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’ 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. Indomina released the film theatrically in 2013.
For his first foray into 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 slaves acquire freedom twenty years before the establishment of the Underground Railroad.
Candis also penned and is set to direct Throw Like Mo! for Walt Disney Studios, an upbeat music driven bio-pic on baseball wonder girl Mo’ne Davis who historically broke the gender barrier and dominated the all boys Little League World Series. Candis teamed with Rocnation and Dreamville Grammy nominated artist J. Cole for the short film Crooked Smile. The film is a call to action, challenging America's current war on drugs and is a dedication to the life of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7 year old tragically killed during a police raid in Detroit, Michigan. Crooked Smile was nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video With A Social Statement. In documentary, Candis’ film The Dwelling, chronicling the lives of two homeless men living along Tokyo's Sumida Gawa, was distributed by Scion and Giant Robot magazine.
Candis also 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.
Additionally, 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’ 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. The film is the first long form sports documentary captured in VR. Produced by Guy Primus and Joel Newton for VRC.
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)