Director / Producer / Writer
Since earning her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Phyllis Stuart followed a winding creative path developing her personal potential while also serving the community. After three decades testing the elasticity of her skills, Stuart is now an accomplished creative force across a variety of disciplines. Using art, media and advocacy filmmaker, Stuart directs, writes and produces media to protect the innocent and exploited and to advance gender parity.
Her latest film, Wild Daze was forged by a fierce desire to save the African wildlife and protect women, children and indigenous forest peoples. For the last six years, Stuart has crafted a film that focuses on the many threats facing African wildlife including human population explosion, human / wildlife conflict, climate change, trophy hunting, poaching, rebel militias, and crime and corruption.
Stuart traveled to nine countries to film 100 activists, artists, scientists and conservationists. Though Wild Daze was independently created, it has been supported by Emmy-winning actor and narrator Keith David and a cast that includes Jane Goodall, Will Travers, Ofir Drori, Tony Fitzjohn, Richard Bonham and other amazing souls. These conservation soldiers have been at this task for decades and all conclude that to save the wild you must help those living with the wild.
To produce this feature length documentary, Wild Daze., Stuart raised its budget and served as its Director, Producer and Writer. Stuart secured additional financial support from WildIze Foundation, The Pollination Project, The David Buntzman Foundation, among others. Apple contributed gear because in some dangerous areas of Africa, Stuart filmed alone, without the safety of a crew, just using an iPhone to capture the truth.
Wild Daze premiered in San Francisco during the 41st Mill Valley Film Festival and releases October 27, 2020 by the distribution company Cinedigm.
Previously for the Wild Daze conservation campaign, Stuart produced The Tooth Fairy Project a live event rallying the public, children and wildlife photographers to save African elephants in Jackson, Wyoming.
In 2014, to raise awareness for the endangered Asian elephant, Stuart helped save wild elephants by participating in the Elephant Parade USA art show for which she created The Prettiest Pachyderm, a beautiful baby elephant sculpture. She also commissioned sculptures from Khloe Kardashian, Li Bingbing, Lily Tomlin and Loree Rodkin who donated their time, fame and hearts to this urgent cause.
To protect nature, Stuart also created a conservation series Jungle Rescue in which she and her team rescued wild animals, like primates and big cats from American basements and backyards. For its pilot she rescued and filmed the re-homing of two ten year old Siberian tigers from a backyard in Washington to a big cat sanctuary in Nevada. She secured a leading show sponsor, Canidae Pet Food company and wrapped a Jeep in a wild jungle scene that drove all over America.
Stuart previously directed and produced two feature-length documentaries: The Paranormal Portal: Where Science & Sprit Meet and I Think I Cannes. Stuart also produced Bert Stern: Original Madman, a documentary feature film acquired by First Run Features. Other conservation media projects include directing and producing the Elephant Daze PSA which thanks to NCM, screened inside US theaters, engaging over a million film-goers.
In 1995, Stuart created and Executive Produced her first television show 50 Years of Funny Females, an ABC primetime television special, which starred John Ritter, Debbie Allen, Paula Poundstone and Annie Potts. She delivered this show ‘client-supplied’, meaning Stuart bought an hour of primetime television and sold 16 thirty-second spots to advertisers including Universal Studios, Sears, 7-Up, Honda, Colgate Palmolive and Unilever. This special aired twice on ABC and then aired again on Lifetime.
Stuart has also volunteered in the non-profit sector, founding and leading Women’s Image Network (WIN). Each year for WIN, Stuart produces The Women's Image Awards and collaborates with artists, studios and networks to celebrate those who create dimensional female media images whose outstanding work also advances gender parity. Launching in 1993, now in its 22nd year, (and far ahead of the current female in media empowerment movement), due to the pandemic, The Women's Image Awards, will have its first virtual show.
For WIN Stuart has collaborated with hundreds of esteemed film, television and advertising creatives including Sherry Lansing, Angelina Jolie, Senator Barbara Boxer, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Brian Roberts, Carl Reiner, Anjelica Huston, Abby Disney, Tom Cruise, Mickey Rooney, Katie Holmes, Ambassador Swanee Hunt and countless more femme-friendly people.
Before creating The Women's Image Awards, Stuart founded and produced The WINFemme Film Festival which ran four years in Los Angeles and programmed the work of independent male and female artists who created documentaries, short and feature films which told a woman’s story.
Beginning her career as a performer in New York theatre, Stuart moved to Los Angeles to create a one-woman show. She secured Sears as its sponsor and wrote, produced and for six weeks performed her award-winning A Raging Volcano Goddess to benefit Gilda's Club, the charity founded by Gene Wilder.