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THIS IS IYANNA JONES w/Filmmaker Neema Barnette

  • Broadcast in Entertainment



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With a vast resume of work flavored with the Urban experience, award-winning director Neema Barnette has left her unique stamp on the silver screen, the small screen and the stage. A native of Harlem, New York, Neema Barnette broke into the entertainment business as an actor while attending New York's High School for the Performing Arts. She was mentored into a full-time directing career on the advice of legendary legit producer Joseph Papp who, after seeing her production of The Blue Journey by Oyamo at his Public Theater and recognizing a special visual style in Barnette's work, suggested she enroll in a Third World Cinema program. Soon after, Neema produced an after school special (To Be A Man), which won the director her first Emmy Award.

This award would launch the director onto a path of award-winning work and industry achievement. After graduating from CCNY in 1985, Barnette was awarded acceptance into the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote, produced and directed her first film, Sky Captain, a surrealistic fantasy drama about an urban Peter Pan from the Bronx who was suicidal. This incredibly unique work earned the notice of many among the Hollywood film and television community, and led to One More Hurdle, an NBC dramatic special for which Barnette won her first NAACP Image Award. Barnette also lent her vision to a network documentary on domestic violence for NBC, The Silent Crime, which received four local Emmy nominations and won an American Women in Radio & Television award for directing.