Team members listed alphabetically by last name
Mother and Daughter Entertainment
Elizabeth Blake-Thomas is an award-winning director and philanthropist, having just completed her 8th feature film with numerous more slated this year. Along with her talented daughter Isabella, she co-founded Mother & Daughter Entertainment. One of Elizabeth's priorities is to strive to have each project represented by at least 50% women on both cast and crew. A regular on panels at Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto International Film Festival, Elizabeth mentors wherever possible, ensuring she sends the elevator back down to all other female directors and filmmakers. She is a British award-winning storyteller and philanthropist based in Los Angeles, having recently directed her latest feature film during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will You Be My Quarantine? is a rom-com starring Full House/Fuller House star Jodie Sweetin and is set to release in 2021. Elizabeth’s recent film Evie Rose, starring Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore, premiered in January 2021 on Amazon. Elizabeth is the founder and resident director of entertainment company Mother & Daughter Entertainment, whose motto is “Making Content That Matters”, putting the focus on each project starting a conversation amongst viewers. Through MDE, Elizabeth established the MD Foundation Initiative, a campaign to mentor and employ undiscovered filmmakers through fellow philanthropic pledges.
An Official Ambassador of Awareness Ties for Human Trafficking, Elizabeth hopes to raise more awareness to the horrific nature of human trafficking and help put a stop to it. Her award-winning short film UNSEEN, which addresses the role technology plays in the facilitation of child trafficking, is being used to educate children on the dangers of lure tactics. A regular on panels at Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto International Film Festival, Elizabeth mentors wherever possible, ensuring she sends the elevator back down to all other female storytellers.
Mother and Daughter Entertainment
ISABELLA BLAKE-THOMAS is an accomplished Actress, Singer, Writer, Producer, and Advocate. Isabella began her career as the lead in a children’s TV series in the UK and went on to appear in multiple other shows and films before landing the fan-favorite role of Young Zelena in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Her most recent role is Princess January in Disney’s Secret Society of Second Born Royals, which premiered on Disney+ on September 25th, 2020. Isabella is also known for her love of music, with her debut single released in 2018, her debut EP released in early 2019, and her second EP released last September. Isabella’s work as both a singer/songwriter and actress is equally on display in her latest child trafficking awareness short film, UNSEEN, where she stars alongside Rhyon Brown and Yolanda Wood, accompanied by a soundtrack of Isabella’s original songs.
The Official Ambassador of Suicide Awareness with Awareness Ties, Isabella hopes to shed more light on the prevalent issue of suicide and help put a stop to it. Along with her mother Elizabeth, Isabella is a founding member of their production company Mother & Daughter Entertainment, where together they focus on “Making Content That Matters”, creating projects that start a conversation and spark change.
Willie D. Burton
Production Sound Mixer-Producer
With a career that spans over four decades, Willie D. Burton has worked as the production sound mixer on over 100 movies, since his first film, “Let’s Do It Again.” He was nominated for two Emmys Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Mixing for the miniseries “Roots.” He is a two-time Oscar winner(“Bird-1988 and” Dreamgirls” - 2006) and one of two African Americans to receive the Academy Award for Best Sound. His Academy Awards nominations Include his work on the films, The Buddy Holly Story (1978), Altered States (1980), War Game (1983), The Shawshank Redemption 1994), and The Green Miles (1999) among others. With seven nominations (as of 2019), Burton is one of the Academy’s most-honored African-American in the film industry, He has also won the BAFTA Film Awards for Best Sound for the movie “War Games.” He currently serves as a board member of The Cinema Audio Society. In addition, he’s a member of the Minority Diversity Committee on Netflix. Burton also owns his Sound Company (Sound Package). Burton has worked with some of the best directors in the industry, including Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Sam Mendes, The late Jonathan Demme, Ava Duvernay, F Gary Gray, David Fincher, Denzel Washington and Christoper Nolan to name a few. This has given him an opportunity to observe their techniques over the years, and to ultimately develop his own style as a Director. Burton has produced two indie films and a Documentary. He has several projects in development with his partner, Dorez Douglas. They are in pre-production on “Voices From The Bayou,” a short film based on a book of essays written by students at Baton Rouge Community college. The film which Burton will produce and direct deals with issues of racism, police brutality, Covid-19, and the recent worldwide protests.d received his 9th nomination for Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) the following year.
After graduating from Michigan State University with Bachelor Degrees in English and Communications (Her minors included: Business, Theater, and History), Theresa Chaze began her career in the mid-1980s at a small independent TV station in Grand Rapids Michigan, Chaze worked in the technical aspects of the station's Master Control. Additionally, she edited and work at various crew positions. A year later, she took a job at the ABC affiliate in Traverse City, where she started in Master Control, but quickly expanded her experience into writing, producing, directing, and editing. Additionally, during this time, she was hired to ghostwrite two feature films and two shorts. In the mid-1990s, after working as a producer on two independent films, she walked away from the industry after other members of the production team proved to have ethnics issues. Until the late 2000s, she focused on writing fiction and articles that were published nationally and internationally. She worked in other industries as a researcher and PR specialist. For a couple of years, she published an ezine called Messages From the Universe. Her journey back into the entertainment industry began through a series of coincidences Chaze found that the industry had changed. But those in the industry quickly learned that she had changed as well. She kept the experience from both in and out of the industry, but was able to release the negativity that was connected to it. In doing so, she turned "impossible" into “I'm possible.”
Dorez Douglas, a Detroit native, and former gospel singer is a writer/producer in Los Angeles, California. Over the years, she has worked in the fields of public relations, theater, film, and television.
From 1990-2003, Douglas produced a number of plays, short projects, videos, and an independent film, “Beverly Hood” which is currently available on Amazon. Stars of the film include Kym Whitley, Destiny’s Child, Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whittaker, Lavell Crawford, and Walter Powell. In the mid-1990s, Douglas co-executive produced an animated special for ABC-TV. The program, “Jirimpimbira: An African Folktale” was a critical and commercial success, receiving excellent reviews from TV Guide and Animation magazine, as well as a Parents Choice Award. It featured the voices of Diahann Carroll, Paul Winfield, James Avery, Meshach Taylor, Dawnn Lewis, and Jamil Smith.
In 1997, Douglas created the Entertainment Industry Training Program (EITP) as part of Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles. The program trained youth (13-18 years old) for jobs behind the camera and was co-sponsored by DreamWorks and Sony Pictures Entertainment among others. EITP students were allowed to visit the set of various hit television shows. Guest Workshop Instructors included: Bruce Evans (NBC executive), Crystal King (Miramax), Judy Woodruff & Elaine Hogue (ABC News Correspondent and Producer respectively), Lewis Dix (Comedian & Actor), Meta Williams (Former Women In Film President) and various executives from DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox. Under the guidance of Douglas, the students produced three short projects in order to gain hands-on experience.
Douglas is currently developing projects with her producing partner, two-time Academy-Award winner Willie Burton. They are planning to shoot a film called “Desire,” in New Orleans next year (2020). It’s based on a true story. Danny Glover, Lamman Rucker, and rising star, Nicole Porche are attached. The second project will be “Cabin 4,” a supernatural work of fiction. They also have a television series, “Hustlin,” in development. Douglas has written three eBooks about the entertainment industry.
Mother and Daughter Entertainment
Emmy-nominated Producer and Director SEAN MCNAMARA is best known for Tristar Pictures’ “Soul Surfer” for his producing, writing, and directing work on the film. The cast, which includes Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, AnnaSophia Robb, and Carrie Underwood, shines in the inspirational tale of pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton who tragically lost her arm after a shark attack. McNamara's shots are as well-composed as his actors are well-directed and the result is a film filled with as much heart and emotion as gleeful suspense.
McNamara received four Emmy-nominations for his producing work on Disney’s “That’s So Raven” and “Even Stevens”, as well as, multiple DGA Award nominations and a BAFTA Award. Over McNamara's years in entertainment, he has carved a niche for himself as a premier family film director with a keen eye for new talent. He can be credited with discovering stars such as Shia LaBeouf and launching the feature careers of Jessica Alba and Hilary Duff. Along with his partner, David Brookwell, McNamara has successfully turned their company, Brookwell/McNamara, into one of the most sought-after youth television and film production companies.
James has always had a love of storytelling. As a teenager, he would use his parent's camcorder to make short films with his best friend Chris. He joined the US Navy in 1992. He worked on the flight deck of two aircraft carriers. The USS Ranger (CV-61) as part of the Aviation Fuels Division (V4/Grapes) and then on the USS Constellation (CV-64) while serving as a Plane Captain with Sea Control Squadron VS-38 (Fighting Red Griffins). He served two combat tours in the Persian Gulf and one off the coast of Somalia (Operation Restore Hope). Upon leaving the Navy he attended the University of Southern Mississippi. Majoring in Film Production and Minoring in Theater. He then went on to spend nearly 15 years as a photojournalist with various news organizations across the nation and the world. James has worked with/for: CNN, ESPN, FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, and The Australian Broadcasting Company. He worked two seasons on the Motorsports program "The World of Outlaws: Sprint Series" (The Outdoor Channel) as a cameraman. In 2015 James decided to put all his time and effort into building up his own small production company Buccaneer Pictures (because of his affinity for the golden age of pirates).