Neema Barnette

Prominent, innovative, and prolific, director, writer, and producer Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of compelling socially and politically charged work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African Americans usually depicted in entertainment for over thirty years. Barnette has earned the respect of peers and critics alike by winning countless accolades. As a young theater director, at 24 Neema was accepted into the Women’s. Directing Workshop at AFI. Neema went from Harlem to Hollywood and soon after made history by becoming THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN to ever direct a sitcom, WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW. Neema made history again when Frank Price, then Chairman of Columbia Studios, gave her a three-year housekeeping deal, which made her the first African American to receive a three-picture deal from a major studio.

Neema has directed over 75 hours of television, 10 TV movies and  3 feature films.  Theatrically released – CIVIL BRAND, WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED ON THE 7 th DAY and; SPIRIT LOST.  She is an EMMY AWARD WINNER and; 3-time nominee, NAACP AWARD WINNER and 4-time nominee, as well as a DGA Directing Award Nominee.

In 2024 Neema will direct the feature film HIDDEN STITCHES, about Black designer Anne Lowe, executive produced by Oscar and Emmy winner REGINA KING.

Neema has been a directing member of the DGA since 1989.