Neema Barnette is an American film director, and the first African-American woman sitcom director. Barnette was the first African-American woman to get a three-picture deal with Sony.
In 1990, she founded Harlem Girl Productions Corporation. Since 1997, Barnette has also worked for the Harlem Lite Productions. She has directed multiple seasons and episodes of a variety of television sitcoms including A Different World, The Cosby Show, Gilmore Girls, and 7th Heaven.
Barnette has directed stage, episodic television, made for TV movies and feature films. Sky Captain was her first short film which she directed as part of the American Film Institute's (AFI) Directing Workshop for Women in 1985. Her 2003 film Civil Brand is a low-budget feature on women in prison who stage an uprising to protest their treatment. Her 1997 film, Spirit Lost, is a psychological thriller with a love triangle that includes a ghost.
Her most recent feature film is Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day (2012), her 11th movie and third for theatrical release. The film is a thriller and family drama following the story of a marriage on the rocks, which received an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Best Independent Feature in 2012. Barnette directed two episodes of Being Mary Jane: "Hot Seat" and "Don't Call It A Comeback" (2015 - Season 3). Barnette is the Executive Producer of Black History Mini Docs, 90 second videos featuring the stories of African-American heroes and she-roes, as well as daily tributes which are posted on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.
She has won numerous awards, honors, and nominations, among them an Emmy Award for her afterschool special To Be a Man, two NAACP Image Awards, and a Sundance Film Festival Award.