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Wild DaZe

Wild DaZe is a feature-length documentary film from Producer/ Director, Phyllis Stuart who created a powerful cinematic call to action to address the threats facing many species who depend on biodiversity, including our own.

Employing mesmerizing visuals captured by brilliant wildlife photographers and seasoned cinematographers, aided by powerful narration from Emmy-winning actor, Keith David, and bolstered by a bold musical score from Emmy-winning composer, Lolita Ritmanis, Wild DaZe shares the unvarnished truth about our tenuous relationship with nature.​

Audiences will fall in love with Africa as they journey across ten countries on the remarkable African continent. Wild DaZeshows how the $20 billion, annual illegal wildlife trade produces an unnatural disaster that impacts our entire planet. Not only are animals being driven to the brink of extinction but humans living with the wildlife are also being exploited and displaced. This illegal wildlife trade is driven by many factors including unbridled crime and corruption, armed insurgents, trophy hunting, the pet trade, the bush meat trade and an insatiable consumer demand for natural resources.

Set in Sub-Saharan Africa, this gorgeous documentary reveals personal conservation stories set against a backdrop of the dire and pressing environmental ecocide. Since human beings are dependent on nature when we work to save nature, and non-humans, we are really working to save ourselves. Since human survival hangs in balance, we must decide whether we see ourselves as superior, as custodians, as entitled consumers or as a part of a delicate ecosystem.




Wild Daze: Crew



Using art, media and advocacy filmmaker Phyllis Stuart galvanizes others to help preserve wild places and wildlife.Wild DaZe marks Stuart’s third documentary film. Wild DaZe premiered October 2018 at the 41st Mill Valley Film Festival and then in December 2018 at The Tahoe Film Festival. 

Before creating Wild DaZe, Stuart produced several conservation campaigns including The Tooth Fairy Project, and an Elephant Daze PSA, for one million movie-goers in American theaters. 

To promote dimensional female media images by applauding film and television that advances the value of women and girls, Stuart launched a grassroots charity, Women's Image Network, (WIN). Harnessing the power of media Stuart founded and produce The Women's Image Awards, collaborating with and celebrating the world's most esteemed creatives.

Next for WIN, Stuart created and Executive Produced an ABC primetime television special 50 Years of Funny Females,which starred co-hosts: John Ritter, Debbie Allen and Annie Potts.

Stuart then produced a popular and free, film industry speaker series at Paramount Studios. Then, WIN aimed to support independent filmmaker and for the following four years WIN produced The WINFemme Film Festival which programmed dozens of documentaries, short and feature films created by men and women but which all told a woman’s story.

Working independently Stuart has created two TV pilots, written ten screenplays, and produced four documentary films including Bert Stern: Original Madman, which enjoyed a US theatrical run from First Run Features. 

​Stuart also produced and directed I Think I Cannes, a feature-length documentary she calls a 'Roger & Meat Cannes'). With Sears as her show sponsor, Stuart (who began her career as an actress), next produced and performed her 90 minute, one-woman show she called A Raging Volcano Goddess to help benefit Gilda's Club, a cancer support charity. ​


​Cecilia DeMille Presley

Executive Producer

Cecilia DeMille Presley has long fulfilled the film preservation goals of her grandfather, Cecil B. DeMille. Cece is known for her many philanthropic and animal welfare endeavors having been a long time benefactor to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Her other interests include supporting children's causes and animal welfare and is involved with World Society for the Protection of Animals and serves on the Advisory Board of Red Bucket Equine Rescue. A trustee of the Cecil B. DeMille Foundation, Cece is a General Partner of the Motion Picture Associates, LLC and Vice President of Presley Petroleum. Cece also serves on the Board of Councilors of the UCLA Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees for Chapman University School of Film & Cinema Association, the American Film Institute, Defense Orientation Conference, The Film Foundation, UCLA School of Film & Television and is the Vice Chairman of National Film Preservation Foundation.


Andrew Sugerman

Executive Producer

For the past 30 years, Andrew Sugerman has been involved in the production of a diverse range of motion pictures and television shows. He runs Pantheon Entertainment and is currently in post-production on Foster Boy, a feature film drama, directed by Youssef Delara, starring Mathew Modine and Lou Gossett Jr., based on a true story about an attorney taking on the issue of child abuse in the foster care system. Also under his Pantheon banner Sugerman produced the feature films: Conviction and Any Day,  co-executive produced the television series, The Divide, and executive produced Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, Death Sentence, Shopgirl, Grilled and Johnson Family Vacation. Sugerman previously also produced Undisputed and Boat Trip and line produced The Whole Ten Yards,Prozac Nation, The Prophet's Game, The Sterling Chase, Blue Motel and Spiders.


Keith David



Actor Keith David currently stars in the hit OWN series, Greenlfeaf portraying Bishop James Greenleaf. David also next appears in the feature film Night School, starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. David has amassed over one hundred and fifty film, television and stage credits. His outstanding work has garnered six Emmy Award nominations and three Emmy wins for narrating Jackie Robinson, The War and Unforgivable Blackness, the Ken Burns’ documentary film.  David’s many memorable film roles include Platoon, Crash, Requiem for a Dream and There’s Something About Mary. A sought-after voice artist, David has lent his rich baritone voice to films such as Coraline, Princess and The Frog, Gargoyles and the popular video games: Halo, Mass Effect and Saints Row.  Mr. David was raised in New York and currently resides with his family in Los Angeles.


Cosmus Mwongela


Cosmus Mwongela is a busy Kenyan news cameraman and passionate wildlife conservationist who says: “Peace-building is very much about having courageous conversations and creating a space for these conversations to take place.”


Dave Summers


Dave Summers loved to shoot on his red cameras but his primary passion was acting. In July, 2018 Dave left us suddenly but his generosity and kindness remain with us forever. 


Gilbert Maina


Gilbert Maina was born in central Kenya where his first language was Kikuyu then Swahili then English. He loves birds, elephants, soccer and cameras, all in equal measure. Wild DaZe marks his first feature film shoot having previously filmed dozens of live elephant conservation events across Kenya. Maina says a “person comes into this world with a specific destiny- he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered and some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally-you are here meaningfully.”


Meryem Ersoz


Meryem Ersoz is based in Colorado and works as a commercial and feature film cinematographer and producer whose primary passion is filming nature. A few former clients include Discovery Channel, National Geographic and NOVA. She may be best known as having provided production services for the Kevin Connolly feature film, DEAR ELEANOR, which starred Luke Wilson and Jessica Alba. Ersoz just launched her new company Blackwing Air Sea & Land Cinematography which supplies specialty cinema services rigging to all air, sea, and land transports by providing the equipment for the fastest, most difficult camera moves, whether by car crane, specialty rig, drone, or jib. 


Music Composer

Lolita Ritmanis is a ten-time Emmy Nominated music composer, who in 2002 won an Emmy Award for Batman Beyond. Her recent career highlights include: the Carnegie Hall U.S. premiere of her symphonic work Overture to Light, her original score for Wild DaZe (featuring Jane Goodall) and Flip the Script (a television series starring Lake Bell). Other television credits include composing the Emmy nominated theme for Justice League,Teen Titans, Ben 10, Wacky Races, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Batman: The Animated Series. She also garnered an Emmy for her score and songs in the “Mayhem of the Music Meister” episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, starring Neil Patrick Harris.


Before becoming a music composer, Lolita worked as a film orchestrator on over one hundred films, mini-series and television programs including Lethal Weapon 4, X-Files Movie and Robin Hood-Prince of Thieves. Her music has graced Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Krakow International Film Music Festival, Fimucité International Film Music Festival and Playfest. Her concert work includes four original musicals, which traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Taiwan and Australia. In 2018, Ritmanis will score an epic war film Dvēseļu Putenis in Latvia working with a full orchestra and its award-winning state choir. Ritmanis co-founded Dynamic Music Partners with Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter who together have created and produces music including shows like Avengers Assemble, Young Justice, Batman vs. Two-Face, (produced by James Tucke, featuring the late Adam West in his final performance as Batman) and The Killing Joke, (produced by Bruce Timm, starring Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker). Lolita is member of the Television Academy, NARAS, SCL, and WIF. In addition to her work as a film and television composer, Ritmanis serves the president of the Alliance for Women Film Composers.


Yumeng Chen


Yumeng Chen was born and raised in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. She finished her graduate degree in Film Production emphasize in editing at Chapman University. Currently she is pursuing her dream as a film editor in Los Angeles.


Ting Yu


Ting Yu just cut the award-winning film Cotton Twines found on Netflix. Her work ranges from indie to studio in a wide array of genres.  Though this Chinese national recently graduated Chapman University film school, Yu landed the assistant editing gig on the big budget Jean-Claude Van Damme film Kickboxer: Retaliation and now is assistant editing the film Asura, the biggest budget feature in Chinese film history.


​Additional Editor

Musician (Alice and the Rabbit), Editor, Filmmaker and Writer. Soon she aims to add "animator" to her talents. She "likes to make music videos and little shorts to make people smile and think". Raised in Silverlake before it was hip, Laura is the happiest new mother of a brilliant baby girl.


James Knott


Founder and lead colorist of Big Game Color, James is a Davinci Resolve specialist located in Los Angeles, California. His breadth of work ranges from commercials to music videos, from documentaries to feature films and television shows big and small. James has worked for over 9 years in the post production world running a machine room & assisting online editors. This gave him the experience to master the tricks of the trade in this ever-evolving industry.


Jamie Coupar

Sound Editor

Jamie Coupar grew up outside of DC where she started as an audio engineer for theater. She later switched to audio post, working at Defacto Sound in Silver Spring, MD before hitting the road and moving to LA. She currently works as a sound editor and mixer at 48 Windows in Santa Monica. She has worked on many short films, web-episodes, reality shows, and commercials and her past documentary work includes Finding Home, The Sax Man, and Baby Brother. 


Scott Crisp

Sound Mixer

Scott Crisp is an sound engineer and sound mixer at 48 Windows Music and Mix whose work ranges from mixing countless music videos for stars like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Joss Stone to mixing commercial for clients from AAA to Zumba. While his reality television shows range from Addicted to Beauty to While You Were Out, his recent credits include the Starz series Insomnia, and an ultimate fantasy football documentary, Fandom. But Scott’s favorite documentary is Wild DaZe…because he always wanted to be an ocean explorer. Wild is his nature.


Kai McLaughlin

Dialogue Editor

Kai McLaughlin, an upstate New York native, is a sound and picture editor who has worked as a dialogue, sound effects, and a music and picture editor. When working as a development editor she cut dozens of sizzle reels that resulted in series sales to Nat Geo, Sci Fi and MTV. McLaughlin edited audio at 48 Windows on features, docs and TV shows like Insomnia, Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, Ink, Paper, Scissors and A Wish for Christmas. Now she works as a lead assistant editor, having worked on Fail Army Season 6. She currently also edits at TMZ on shows such as Harvey Levin's Objectified. She has spent her life immersed in classical music training in viola and voice, which produced her super sharp ears and keen, resonant soul.



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