The Crew

CREW

Kelley Whitis – Writer/Director/Producer

Kelley has worked as a post producer on films which broadcasted on best android tv box such as The Promotion, Elite Squad, Penelope, Fanboys, and Fighting. She has gained invaluable relationships with The Weinstein Company, Summit Entertainment, Focus Features, Rogue, Sony, Universal and countless post production facilities.

While working as an executive assistant to producer Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon, she worked on the films Jarhead, RV, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Bewitched and was involved with all stages of production from development through distribution.

A former broadcast commercial producer at Deutsch advertising agency, Kelley produced spots for high-profile clients such as Coors Light, DirecTV, Burger King and Old Navy, and the 2005 Super Bowl spot for Mitsubishi. A partner of Moirai Media, Kelley is currently in development on the features Black Coffee and Love’s House.

Juan Carlos Saizarbitoria – Director

Juan Carlos moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Florida State University. He began his career in film working for the acclaimed commercial directing team of Joe Public and shot for clients such as Coca-Cola, Adidas and Ford. His Cuban descent led him to produce, along with co-producer Charlize Theron, the documentary East of Havana detailing Cuba’s underground political rap movement.

Juan Carlos has used his editorial skills on various corporate videos of hd tv box, trailers and promos, and the reality-show Driving Force for the A&E Network. He joined forces with filmmaker Patrick Hasson to create the directing team The Vasco Brothers. Together they shot Stealing Magnolias, currently in the film festival circuit and Mr. Patrick’s Movie Makers, a documentary that follows inner city Los Angeles students producing their own films. Juan Carlos is currently developing MotoGreen TV, a reality pilot on a motorcycle garage and recently shot the pilot for Under Pressure, a docu-series on under-water oil rig divers.

Amanda Whitis – Producer

Amanda started her career as a personal assistant to actors Lorenzo Lamas and Pamela Anderson. It was during Anderson’s show Stacked that Amanda became aware of the role of the producer, and realized her talents were leading her down that path.

To further her education on producing, she worked as an executive assistant to producer Robert Lantos, who built Canada’s leading film and television company Alliance Atlantis and production company Serendipity Point Films. Amanda was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles office and was involved with films such as Fugitive Pieces, and the 2008 Academy Award nominated Eastern Promises.

Amanda gained invaluable experience during this time in all elements of film production, from creative development, budgeting, sourcing and assembling financing, production scheduling, international and domestic pre-sales and distribution, production and post.

While on location in Kenya, Amanda will manage the production schedule and budget. A partner of Moirai Media, Amanda is currently in development on the features Black Coffee and Love’s House.

Summer Harlow – Producer

Summer studied at the prestigious film school at University of Texas in Austin. This led to her pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles. She has played a variety of roles as an actress, from appearing in award winning plays such as Neil Simon’s The Gingerbread Lady and David Mamet’s Edmond to roles in Showtime’s Californication and MTV’s Short Circuitz. Her latest endeavor is playing opposite Diva Zappa in Mali Elfman’s indie thriller Do Not Disturb.

Her acting has led her to volunteer with children in a number of ways including a Screen Actors Guild program, Book Pals, where she goes to Los Angeles area elementary schools to read to groups of children. She also holds art classes for elementary schoolchildren where they learn to draw and paint.

As a producer in the field in Kenya, Summer will manage physical production including crew assistance and locations liaison.A partner in Moirai Media, Summer is currently in development on the feature Black Coffee and Love’s House.

Mercy Murugi – Kenyan Production Manager

Mercy is a producer whose heart is deeply embedded in Africa. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mercy grew up all over Kenya, never settling in one town for more than 2 years. She worked in one of Kenya’s leading TV stations, NTV in soaps before discovering that she had a passion for being in the field rather than in the studio. Mercy then moved to Ginger Ink Films as a Production Assistant and moved quickly up through the ranks to Production Manager/ Line Producer. She has worked with National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and BBC amongst other global production houses and TV channels. Filming in rural almost ignored parts of Africa affirmed that her calling was to make films about real people whom the society seemed to have forgotten.

For the past six months, she has been working on putting together a project on a Kenyan indigenous tribe, The Ogiek, whom she plans to teach how to make films about themselves, their lives and the relationship they have with the Mau Forest. Mercy is also Producer on Togetherness Supreme, a fictional feature film set in Kibera. She is co-owner of Hot Sun Films and a trustee of Hot Sun Foundation.

Zain Effendi – Composer

Zain spent six years studying at both Boston’s Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatoire for Music. He traveled the globe studying and writing indigenous folk music from India and Northern Africa to South America and the Caribbean as well as perfecting his skills with the orchestra. It was during his last year at Berklee when Zain had the rare opportunity to work alongside Academy Award winning Composer Hans Zimmer.

Upon his arrival in Hollywood, Zain was immediately thrown into the biggest blockbusters of that summer, Pirates of The Caribbean 3: Dead Man’s Chest and The Dark Knight. After several years with Zimmer and almost a dozen films (The Holiday, The Simpson’s Movie, Bee Movie, Transformers, Casi Divas, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2: Escape From Africa, Frost/Nixon) Zain left the studio to venture onto his solo career. His most recent work is the socially conscious documentary Gagetown and in November 2009, he was awarded “Best New Composer” by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Stefan Nowicki – Executive Producer

Stefan Nowicki is president and founding partner of Sundial Pictures, a New York City based production company dedicated to supporting independent documentary and feature films.

As an investor, Sundial Pictures aims to provide financial backing to documentary and independent films in a profitable and responsible way. Their goal is to unite with production companies, film investors, and philanthropists to help create powerful motion pictures and bring those films to as wide an audience as possible.

In 2009, along with George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, Nowicki produced the documentary Playground which traces the child sex industry in the U.S. and around the globe. Other documentaries include Guest of Cindy Sherman and Greasy Rider.

Steve “Charlie” Spiro – Executive Producer

Steve has over 30 years of marketing experience with both large companies and Internet startups. He worked for GE and Motorola, gaining significant international knowledge living in Tokyo for 3 years and as Director of International Marketing where he visited over 40 countries.

He also helped create the highly successful digital audiobook company, Audible which was sold to Amazon for $300 million. More recently he was the VP Marketing for mobile content company, Myxer, where he helped grow their user base from 1 million to over 50 million.

Steve has tremendous experience in fundraising, marketing, and project management and also has an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

Cameron Stracher – Legal Representation

Cameron Stracher has represented many media clients in a variety of defamation, privacy, reporter’s privilege, copyright, employment, and commercial matters for seventeen years. As a litigator, Mr. Stracher has successfully defended newspapers, broadcasters, websites, and publishers from libel, invasion of privacy, and related claims. His clients have included CBS, Infinity Broadcasting, Gruner & Jahr, Cablevision, Hearst, American Media, the Associated Press, and many local and regional news and entertainment companies. He also provides regular pre-publication and risk counseling to such clients as Star magazine, Al Roker Entertainment, Go-Go Lucky, and the producers of the hit television series Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Mr. Stracher is a magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College (B.A. 1983), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1987), and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (M.F.A. 1991). From 1994 to 1999 he was litigation counsel at CBS, and from 1999 to 2004 he was an associate with Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, and then a partner at the firm. He became a Senior Vice President and Special Counsel at Media Professional Insurance, before leaving to start his own practice and returning to LSKS as “Of Counsel.” Among his other activities, Mr. Stracher has written regularly for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The American Lawyer, and is the author of four books, most recently the YA thriller, The Water Wars (Sourcebooks 2011).

He is admitted to practice in the courts of the District of Columbia, New York, and Connecticut, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth, and Seventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

ADVISORY BOARD

Edmond Lelo – Advisor

In October 2009, Lelo was promoted to head Wells Fargo’s international banking division. Previously, he was executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s commercial banking in the greater Los Angeles and Nevada regions.

Before assuming that position in 2004, Edmond served three years as regional vice president for Wells Fargo’s Colorado regional commercial banking office. Prior to that, Edmond served four years as division manager of Wells Fargo Business Credit in Denver. He’s also served as a relationship manager, credit underwriter, and auditor since joining Wells Fargo in 1989. Edmond holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Oral Roberts University and a Masters in global management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Edmond, a native Kenyan, is chairman of the board for the American Red Cross of greater Los Angeles. He also serves on the boards of the California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, the Latin Scholarship Fund, and Center Theater Group.

John Salley – Advisor

Salley is a 15-year NBA veteran and was the first NBA player to win four championships with three different teams, the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Following his retirement in 2000, Salley appeared in Jerry Bruckheimer’s Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, and Eddie. His television roles include the ABC Christmas film Naughty or Nice and most recently NBC’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Salley recently concluded a seven-year stint serving as co-host of the Emmy Award-nominated The Best Damn Sports Show Period and also hosted the cable series Ballers.

As director of the Salley Foundation, he is involved with Operation Smile and working in conjunction with VH1 and The Global Fund for AIDS awareness. John is actively involved with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and visited Washington in November 2009, speaking to Congressional Members about supporting the Child Nutrition Act, which would increase vegetarian options in public schools meals. John currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their three daughters.

Marianne Williamson – Advisor

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher from Houston, Texas. Among her nine published books, four of them – including “A Return to Love” – were #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  “A Return to Love” is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” – often misattributed to Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural address – is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose.serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily.  Marianne also founded The Department of Peace Campaign, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.  In February 2010, she hosted the first Sister Giant Conference which speaks of the role of women at this pivotal moment in history.  She is a strong supporter of The Millennium Development Goals which include reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, developing a global partnership for development, and promoting gender equality and empowering women all to be achieved by the year 2015.