campaigns for Honda, Ford.
director Sheldon Candis, best known for the 2012 Sundance feature LUV, has joined A Common Thread for
advertising projects. Candis’s work encompasses features, episodic television,
documentaries, branded content and spots.
He has already directed several commercials in tandem with A Common
Thread, including campaigns for Ford and Honda.
refreshing and invigorating,” said A Common Thread Executive Producer J.P.
McMahon. “You can’t help but share his eagerness for creating something special
from concept to finished product.”
Candis’ commercial work is rooted in emotionally-driven
storytelling. Born to Roll, his
recent spot for Ford, weaves stories of three powerful African-American women,
a dancer, a chef and a fighter pilot. Greatness
within Reach for Honda features Brian and Autumn Merritt, who talk about
the inspiration behind their trendy Chicago boutique, Sir & Madame. Candis also
directed I Will What I Want, a web
series for Under Armour, in which Misty Copeland describes her challenges as
the first black woman in more than 20 years to become a soloist with the
American Ballet Theatre.
from the emotions of the human condition,” Candis says. “For Ford, I got to
make a car commercial that isn’t a ‘car commercial.’ It’s about the experience
of these three women. You’re surprised at the end that it’s from Ford.”
from USC School of Cinematic Arts and early in his career worked in a variety
of production roles. His break came in 2012 when his feature debut, LUV, which he also co-wrote, became an
official selection at Sundance. The film, which starred Common, Danny Glover,
Dennis Haysbert, Michael K. Williams and Michael Rainey Jr., drew rave reviews
for its uncompromising portrait of gun violence in black America. LUV was named Best Independent Feature
at the 2013 Black Reel Awards and was also nominated for a Humanitas Prize and Sundance’s
Grand Jury Prize.
then, Candis’s work has included the documentary feature Here Comes the Show for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. It centers on the
1981-83 Dunbar Poets, billed as “the greatest high school basketball team
ever.” He also directed Who Will Survive
America, about the easy accessibility of firearms in the U.S., for Sundance’s
Now Doc Club. Most recently, he directed two episodes of the BET drama Rebel.
Thread, Candis said that the company shares his values and commitment to
integrity in the filmmaking process. “I appreciate the family atmosphere at A
Common Thread,” he notes. “And I feel that J.P. is a true collaborator. He is a
creative producer and isn’t locked into a particular approach because of
budget. That says a lot about him and the company.”
is not merely to sell products, but to sell emotions “Part of my mandate is not
only to entertain, but also to educate,” he says. “I want to spark a
conversation that motivates people to act.”