Save The Wild Save Yourself
Interview with Director/Producer Phyllis Stuart
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I was stunned to see the wildlife decimation, the incomprehensible cruelty, and realizing I knew little about Africa (or its wildlife) I filmed over 100 people who have dedicated their lives to protecting nature and African locals who live with wildlife, stopping international crime cartels and Africa warlords, and learning how the West is utterly complicit in the pillaging and decimation of this continent, the birthplace of human beings.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
To help stem the ecocide, to learn why this environmental and social crisis is not an African problem, to see what the extraordinary beauty of Africa and discover why we risk losing this precious place, to realize why everyone needs this continent to sustainably develop or we'll never keep climate to 2 degrees Celsius. To save creatures with whom we share this gorgeous planet.
more- Wild Daze is a compelling new documentary depicting the complexities of African wildlife conservation revealing how we are all complicit in the dire loss of its wildlife and forest peoples. The film deftly wades audiences through Africa's complex and murky complicity and corruption to witness how human activity takes a huge toll on the wild. Since human survival hangs in the balance, we must decide whether we see ourselves as superior, as custodians, as entitled consumers or as a part of a delicate ecosystem.
In May 2019 the United Nations published a report revealing how one million (of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species on Earth) are at risk of extinction — many of them within decades – and how humans will also suffer greatly. Since most people know little about Africa and its dire wildlife ecocide Stuart created this new feature-length documentary to galvanize audiences before it’s too late. Few understand how much the African environmental crisis impacts the West and even fewer know international crime cartels are fueling unsustainable wildlife loss. But Wild Daze was sculpted to transfix audiences not just from the outrage of this loss, but to engage them to empathize with exploited locals and imperilled non-humans.
Set in Sub-Saharan Africa, Phyllis Stuart's compelling new documentary, Wild Daze depicts our paradoxical struggle to control nature and need to save the wild. Anchored by gorgeous footage and emotional interviews ranging from esteemed experts including Dr Jane Goodall to African trophy hunters, Wild DaZe leaves audiences aching to help protect the wild animals who share our home.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I don't think it's obvious but all my films explore the nature of being because I'm fascinated by ontological inquires. In Wild Daze we demonstrate that human beings are not the only beings. Moreover, if human beings can evolve (as we simply must), perhaps we can avoid human extinction. If a documentary doesn't challenge you, it cannot change you…
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Yes... a documentary film becomes what it wants to become. I began exploring the African elephant poaching crisis and learned why this complex continent continues to be exploited...and consequently understood why the world must shine its light on the 'dark' continent, which can abate climate change and which can become the world's hope for a green, sustainable and beautiful future.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Most audiences are utterly engaged...and stay to ask how they can help with the issues this film raises. I've shown it to ten-year-old kids and 95-year-old women, and universally audiences understand we all live on this 3rd rock from the sun and must help one another protect our home.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
No. I'm relieved audiences welcome the news. I spent 4 years making the film so was very close to it--and they provide welcome feedback...This film goes wide and not deep, covering dozens of threats facing African wildlife and their rural and forest peoples. Most audiences know little to nothing about this topic and really love the film even though it tells many dire tales.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Connecting with audiences and sharing its content. As we head into a limited theatrical release, we will visit groups across America and Europe. To have this film make its full impact we truly must find our tribe in every possible corner of the globe.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
All those who wish to save our earth need to help spread this film. Since the UN told the world in May 2019 that one million species are threatened with extinction because of humans, the wild needs everyone. Just as with climate change, humans are the main culprits of biodiversity damage, altering 75% of Earth's land and 66% of marine ecosystems since pre-industrial times, according to the report. Here's a great article for those who wish to understand what is at stake: food, water, breathing...you know, life.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I can create a project for any size or kind of team that uses the unique interests and talents of those people. We reach to the places where our film is shown as we recognize that powerful advocacy comes from passionate citizen-activists, who advocate for change within their own community. We welcome support from animal and environmental activists who share our mission and will engage Wild DaZe audiences in their community. These passionate, connected super-stars are well-organized and media-savvy, so when we provide them with our professional Wild DaZe materials, we help them galvanize audiences and advance conservation awareness.
Together each of us can take actions to reverse the dire African wildlife ecocide, a severe and complex conservation problem which affects everyone. Before we begin our film screening series (since audiences always want to and ask how they can help save the wild), we formulated a new impact campaign: TAKE 2 STEPS so audiences pledge to perform two daily actions to save the wild, acting either locally or globally. We can offer audience members strong incentives to 'TAKE 2 STEPS' as they rally to spread our conservation message and tie into like-minded brands and businesses.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Which actions did you perform today that promoted life?
Would you like to add anything else?
People feel more able to tackle these big challenges as a team. Most humans don't realize their individual daily actions add up. But each of us matters, you simply must ask what kind of difference do you want to make? Find a grassroots group you like and help them...We must empower girls and women in developing nations. Abating food waste is a great place to help save the wild. Stop eating factory farmed animals. Use solar on your home. Get your city to plant trees everywhere. Check the labels --Plant gardens without neonectoids, the harmful chemicals that kill pollinators. You can call your lawmakers and see what they're doing to promote conservation, to protect Africans, to stop trophy hunting, stop using plastic, ride your bikes more...the list of conservation actions is endless!
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Phyllis Stuart Filmmaker is producing the Wild Daze screening series, the She Said Cinema Screening Series (with Laemlle theaters and the major Hollywood studios).
Executive Producer Andrew Sugerman has 10 films in various stages.
Executive Producer Cecelia DeMIlle Presley just published a new book about her grandfather Cecil B. DeMile.
Interview: May 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Save The Wild Save Yourself
Director: Phyllis Stuart
Producer: Phyllis Stuart
Writer: Phyllis Stuart
About the writer, director and producer:
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 in 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 minutes, the one-woman show she called A Raging Volcano Goddess to help benefit Gilda's Club, a cancer support charity.
Key cast: Dr. Jane Goodall, Ambassador Eric Schultz, US Ambassador Zambia (2014-2017), Holly Dragninis, Senior Policy Analyst, Enough Project, Ian Redmond, OBE FZS FLS , Tony Fitzjohn, OBE, George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust, Will Travers,OBE, President Born Free, Coleen Schaefer, Director US National Wildlife Property Repository, Richard Bonham, Big Life Foundation, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer, Global Wildlife Conservation, Geoffrey Kent, CEO Abercrombie & Kent, Virginia Morell, Author, Animal Wise, Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia, IFAW, Ofir Drori, Founder Eagle Enforcement, Dr. Hayley Adams, Silent Heroes, Stephen Corry, Survival International, Mark Gough, Natural Capital Coalition, Pete Swanepoel, Professional Trophy Hunter, Barbara Wiseman, The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization, Andrea Crosta, Elephant Action League / WildLeaks, Dr. Richard Ruggiero, Chief, Division of International Conservation, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Gretchen Peters, Executive Director Satao Project, Edwin Lusichi, Orphan Head Keeper, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Dennis Onsarigo, Journalist, KTN Kenya, Azad "Oz" Ebrahimzadeh, U.S. Army Special Forces , Maurice Schutgens, Space For Giants, Jim Fuller, Rifle Dynamics, David Mascall, Light for Life, Drs. Laura M. Brown, Rob Roy Ramey II, Desert Elephant Conservation
Looking for: distributors, film festival directors, journalists, sales agents
Facebook: Wild Daze
Hashtags used: #WildDaZe
Funders: Self-Funded-Lasting Connections to Community is essential to our success. https://www.wilddazethemovie.com/donate
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? TBA-- Limited Theatrical Run in USA coming soon.