Use the King’s Money, Serve the People
Today we’re sitting down with an imaginative and perceptive artist, writer and director, Sheldon Candis. He is a force for passionate storytelling, and is unbelievably candid and generous as he shares his personal pursuit to see his stories live on the big screen. He graduated from USC film school where he raised all his own money to produce his thesis project, he shares how he’s continued to fund the production of his art, and how he managed to stay focused and inspired, even when the people writing the checks weren’t quite convinced of his writing and directorial abilities. He continued to press through, never giving up, as he fought for the opportunity to share his stories.
From his 10 years on set as a production assistant to the 56 different drafts of his directorial debut, LUV, he’s stayed committed to developing his authentic voice and staying in the game, in the highest of highs—his film premiering at Sundance, to the lowest of lows, and in every moment in between. He shares how he was able to manage the pressure of directing artists like Common and Dennis Haysbert as a first-time director, and how he found and continues to re-discover the power to define himself and pursue his passion—to tell stories that unite humanity and empower and inspire people from every background.
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 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.
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- LUV trailer
- Crooked Smile trailer
“The minute you encounter someone, think about planting a seed as oppose to plucking the flower.”
“Everyone prepares you for how hard it is to break in, but nobody really gives you a heads-up on how hard it is to stick and stay.”