ARTIST STATEMENT: The City Odes Project is a passion project in which my composer and I collaborate with a poet and an actor to create a humanist, emotional, and visual story amidst the backdrop of a particularly city. “In Between Words” is the first of many to come, and kicks off this series in the city I currently reside in — New York City. The narrative was birthed out of an eagerness to collaborate with the actress, Achiaa, who now lives in New York and is originally from Ghana. In speaking with her, I decided to pursue a story about someone searching for home; a woman who is figuring out if NYC is the place for her, who is coming to terms with the fact that she is 5,000 miles away from her original home in West Africa, and thus easing out tensions with her mother, who wants her to return. The final result here features the work of Lilian Mehrel — a fellow filmmaker and classmate of mine back at NYU Grad Film school — who captures these feelings through her words, and my frequent collaborator John Corlis — an LA-based musician and composer — who complements the poetry with his mixture of piano and strings. Please, enjoy this short poetry video and my ode to New York City.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and of Cantonese descent, Sheldon first discovered his greater passion for films in high school when he was introduced to the Criterion Collection DVDs by both his artist uncle and his drama teacher. When he learned of his parents’ tale of survival in which they fled Vietnam in the aftermath of the war, Sheldon was further inspired by the power of storytelling. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine, then decided to fully pursue cinematography at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his MFA. Sheldon was the winner of the 2015 ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award for Cinematography and has had his work recently screened at major festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Venice, Los Angeles and Tribeca. His latest feature, the AT&T and Tribeca Film Institute produced film Nigerian Prince, is due for theatrical release this fall, and he recently wrapped production on his latest feature, Summer Knight, shot in Chengdu, China. Sheldon is currently based in New York City and is a proud owner of a 14 year-old black pug named Milford.