Meet award-winning Shawn Rhodes

Producer, director, executive producer, cinematographer and field sound engineer, just to name a few

Written by Natasha Park

He’s played a part in six Billboard Music Video Award nominations and a win. A couple Emmy nominations and some KAB awards for “Heavy Pork,” a comedy show on Fox Kansas for 17 years. His short film “Hoover Road” won fan favorite at the Palm Springs Film Festival. His film “This is Love” won Film of the Festival at Raindance Film Festival in London (out of 65,000 entrants), qualifying it for Oscar contention. Then won fifteen more International Film Festival Awards and screened in many countries.

“ ‘This Is Love’ was really my life’s heart and soul work,” says Rhodes. “It's about Wichita's own Rudy Love and his amazing career, and how almost all of his and his father’s music was stolen."

“Rudy Love set the example of what things are the most important in life, like love, family and living your life with no regrets; and if you give to others it will all come back to you tenfold.” — Shawn Rhodes

"Yet as George Clinton stated, ‘If it weren't for Rudy Love, music as we know it would not exist today!’ The film brought to light the musical credit, and fixes history which Rudy and his family so deserve.”

“Little Satchmo”

If many of the projects Shawn works on seem to be music based, maybe it’s because both of his parents were both successful musicians. He grew up on stage, so being in this profession seemed a natural progression for him. His current project is “Little Satchmo,” a shocking documentary that changes music history and American history!

“It is the story of Louis Armstrong's secret daughter. No one knew (until now) that Louis Armstrong had any offspring!” says Rhodes. “Sharon Preston-Folta had to be kept a secret from the public as her mother was Armstrong’s mistress, and that would have been a huge scandal back in the ’50s and ’60s, enough to ruin his career. But he was present for her and sent tapes and photos that are now the basis of the new film.”

This story is important, as Louis Armstrong is considered to be one of the most recognizable musicians in the history of America. Rhodes says, “I feel so fortunate to be a part of telling this unknown story. I think bringing the truth to light is always important (whether we like it or not). This is my third film working with director John Alexander and JC Guest who are both brilliant filmmakers.”

You can donate to be a part of this true and awesome story at littlesatchmodoc.com.

Rhodes says his next film is titled “Raisin’ Cain.” “It’s about how the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa can arguably claim to be where country music and rock and roll were conceived. It features Merle Haggard, ZZ Top, The Police, the Sex Pistols and 50 other bands!”

As far as TV shows go, Shawn will join with Brad LaFever to produce "Food Fight,” describing it as “a kids’ show dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.”

When asked where he sees himself in ten years, Shawn says, “I hope to still be doing what I am doing. It took 30 years to get to this point and it was never easy, but I love what I do.”

“This is Love” documentary screening
Featuring special performances by Rudy Love Jr. and DJ Carbon
Evergy Pavilion at Naftzger Park
Sunday, July 25
6–10 p.m.
Free to the public, all ages

 
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