Today is Candice’s birthday!

68 years ago she was born.

Just over 3 years ago, she passed away. Just shy of her 65th birthday.

For her birthday, I give you an update on the project she and I started together.

A long, slow labor – soon a birth.

Five years ago Candice asked me if I would help her tell her own story in her own words. She’d been in lots of films and told many of her stories to other people, but she wanted her story out there. Not just the story of her being in movies or the story of her making movies – but the other stories. Her dance, her artistry, her resilience, her search for her mother, her cancer, her family…where she’d come from and how she survived. (Other things too, but you’ll have to watch the film).

For some reason, this has been a particularly hard film to make from the get-go. Hard to get traction. It was challenged by my proximity to her, a country between us and opposite coasts. It was challenged by her passing. It has been challenged by my own closeness to the project and my own need to find the drive to persevere.

I am close. So, close.

At the beginning of 2018, I committed to myself to finish the film this year.

We have a rough cut – moving to fine, an editor working, a festival coordinator pondering, a composer musing…me rallying post-production houses and lawyers.

I’ve, personally, absorbed many hard costs over the years – thousands of dollars. In addition, I’ve put in hundreds, probably thousands, of hours. I will absorb some of the hard costs moving forward, but could also use a hand to get it over the finish line.

The campaign Candice and I did in 2014 was so tiring for us both, I swore I would never do it again.

I am asking for $15,000 to get this out the door. This will cover roughly half of the post-production we need to do. Any additional money will go to cover the rest and then to licensing some cool historical footage that is beyond my reach. (Candice is singing Banana Split by the McGuire sisters…to license them singing that song to intercut with her is $10,000 USD…a bridge too far right now for a little fun).

My objective is to make a film I think Candice would be proud of, that represents her and lets her tell the world her story.

I will launch a new/revived campaign at the end of the week to raise the funds to do this.

Please help me if you can. I’ll let you know when it’s launched and what link to find it on.

Originally, the film was called “While You Were Gone: The Untold Story of Candida Royalle”…right now, it seems fitting to just call it “Candice”.




It’s been a long while in the making.

It’s hard to believe Candice passed away nearly three years ago.

She initially engaged me in a conversation about helping her tell her own story in her own words. We struggled to get adequate financing to do more than shoot a little, but over the course of two years I filmed with her many times. We talked about her career, her cancer, her family, her background. I followed her search for her mother and we filmed her one and only reunion with her half-brother, it was the first time they’d seen each other in 62 years.

There have been many times I have longed to put the hard drives on a shelf and leave them there, but something – (Candice herself?), a desire for completion, a knowing that this is an important story that longs to be shared – has forced me to soldier on. I’ve engaged editors who have helped and then had to move on to other, more lucrative, work – it’s bounced back to me. Over and again, landing firmly and squarely in my lap.

I’ve known that if I could get the film to a solid rough cut state, if I could find a way to weave the many wandering storylines together in a cohesive and compelling way, then I could start to engage the world with this film.

As 2017 crested into 2018, I made a commitment to myself and to the project that this would be the year it gets finished.

And so it is.

Finally, there is a rough rough cut.

It is happening.

Candice’s film, which I’m currently just calling “Candice” will be finished this year.

Stay tuned!

Finally! Here we go…

A few years ago, Candice and I started working on a film about her life.

Her childhood, her family, her cancer, her mother, her story. Her biggest wish around the film was to finally be able to tell her own story in her own words.

I have a great deal of footage or her and I have, finally, started to put things in motion that will allow her to tell her own story in her own words. In May I will start working with an editor to shape her story.

I am deeply saddened that we weren’t able to complete this while she was still alive, but trust she will find solace in knowing that it’s getting done.

In the Summer of 2014, a year before she passed away, we spent two months working tirelessly on a kickstarter campaign. We didn’t raise our full budget, but once the campaign was done we raised enough to get started and film some of her journey (including meeting up with her brother five decades after she last saw him).

I have enough left to employ someone for 3 weeks, but I would like to be able to double that and spend 6 weeks putting a rough cut together.

If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, the website is still active here. It’s time to get this film finished.

Thank you for your help and for sharing this link!

Memorial for Candida Royalle in San Francisco

Feminist Erotic Filmmaker, 70’s Porn Star, Artist, Singer with the Cockettes, Sex Toy Innovator, Beloved Friend & Sister

WHEN: Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gather: 5:30 PM

Memorial: 6-7:30 PM

Afterglow & Potluck: 7:30-9 PM

WHO IS INVITED: Everyone and anyone that wants to come remember and/or pay homage to Candida Royalle; relatives, old and new friends, fans, colleagues, admirers, lovers, people who have been inspired by Candida’s work…  YOU.

PLEASE BRING—Memories, stories, show & tell items, photos, altar items, a potluck dish to share and something to drink.

WHERE: Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission Street (Btw 9th and 10th streets), San Francisco, CA.

HOSTED BY Center for Sex & Culture with Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Hart, Veronica Vera and other friends and family.

SELECT OBITUARIES for more information:

NY Times

NY Times—Women in the World, obit by Lily Burana

PS: Another memorial is being planned to take place in Manhattan on NOVEMBER 22ND, SUNDAY. Veronica Vera will send information soon.

Rest in Peace Candice – I will miss you

On a subway while filming While You Were Gone

On a subway while filming While You Were Gone

I am rarely at a loss for words, but at this moment I struggle to find the best way to express my sadness.

Candice, Candida Royalle, passed away early this morning. She was only 64. I met Candice several years ago when I asked to interview her for the film Inside Her Sex: documentary film – she was gracious and giving and funny and energetic. I approached her again, hoping to capture more of her stories, of her spirit.

In February 2014, we spoke and she asked if I would help her tell her story….we started, together to work on While You Were Gone: The Untold Story of Candida Royalle…and in a very short space of time we covered a lot of ground. I had the privilege of going to St. Louis with her to meet the brother she hadn’t seen for 62 years…to be witness to that meeting. We visited the grave of her birth mother…we explored old neighborhoods she lived in. I spent time in her home, and we talked and talked.

Candice was tenacious, energetic, charming, engaging, passionate, driven, opinionated (and I mean that as a positive) – she had an unparalleled drive. Although we clashed because we share some of the same attributes, I deeply respected her and admired her for so many reasons. She was fierce and brave, very brave.

I know she was scared of passing away and I hope, deeply and sincerely, that she has been held in that journey by those who went before her.

Rest in peace dear Candice. I hold you in the highest esteem and I will miss you.

I am committed to finding a way to tell your story through film. Please click here if you would like to contribute to this project.
With much love. Sheona x