Neema BarnetteDirector | Writer | Actor
Neema Barnette (born December 14, 1949) is an American film director. She was the first African-American woman to direct a primetime sitcom and also the first African-American woman to get a three-picture deal with Sony. Barnette has won several awards, including a Peabody Award, an Emmy Award, a Sundance Film Festival Award, the Sojourner Truth Award at Cannes, and two NAACP Image Awards. She has directed over fifty hours of network television, ten made-for-TV movies, and four feature films. Barnette also serves as executive producer for Black History Mini Docs, a series of videos that are ninety seconds or less featuring the stories of notable African-Americans throughout history. Her work primarily focuses on challenging the stereotypes of Black people that are depicted in entertainment.
In 1990, she founded Harlem Girl Productions. She is an active American Film Institute alumni and was selected as one of ten artists to judge its 2002 Best Film Awards. Additionally, she is part of the Directors Guild of America's African American Steering Committee, a member of the Black Filmmakers Foundation, and serves as an annual judge for the Pan African Film Festival. She occasionally teaches various film courses, both virtually and at universities in California. Together with her husband, Barnette also owns Reel Rebel Productions and runs Live Theatre Gang, a theater and performance company for young adults.