The son of an American pro basketball player and a French flight attendant, Sylvain White was born in France and grew up mostly in Paris. After attending La Sorbonne University for law, he won a scholarship to Pomona College in California, where he first studied journalism, then switched to double major in both Journalism and Film Production by the end of his sophomore year.
He graduated with honors in both Media Studies and Film and Video Production. While still in school, Sylvain wrote for and worked with directors such as Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze at Propaganda Films. Upon graduation, a series of award-winning short films catapulted him to the forefront of the international market. Leveraging on his success with the short film format, he went on to direct a series of groundbreaking music videos in the US, Europe and Japan.
Lending his visual style and spectacular use of special effects and camera techniques to a wide spectrum of music genres and artists, Sylvain quickly developed a multifaceted body of work. His talent won him nominations both at the 2001 MTV Music Video Awards and at the 2001 Music Video Production Association Awards. Debuting in the commercial arena with the Lugz campaign (winner Telly Awards 2003), he envisioned an unprecedented way of employing 3D parallax, and delivered one of the most groundbreaking and talked about commercials of the season. His short film Quiet premiered at the 2002 WorldFest International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize.
White made his feature film directing debut with Trois 3: The Escort (2004), starring Isaiah Washington, followed by Stomp the Yard (2007), about a teenager who attends an elite dance program to honor his late brother's memory. During the casting process, White insisted on hiring dancers who could act, rather than using body doubles.
He's currently working on The Trunk (2007), starring Oscar-nominee Djimon Hounsou as a talented pianist.
The Trunk (2007)
Stomp the Yard (2007)
Trois 3: The Escort (2004)