Pioneer director Neema Barnette (Blind SpotQueen Sugar, Being Mary Jane) has joined the directorial team of Salim and Mara Brock Akil’s upcoming OWN series Love Is__.   The highly anticipated series revolves around the true story of the husband and wife team, telling the story of a power couple navigating the landscape of Black Hollywood. The cast includes Michele Weaver, who plays Nuri, and Will Catlett, who plays Yasir.

Barnette has become one of the most highly sought out directors in television.  She recently directed an episode in the latest season of the NBC series Blindspot, season 4 of Amazon series Bosch, and was chosen by powerhouse film director Ava DuVernay to join the all female directorial team of the OWN hit series Queen Sugar to serve as director/producer of the series during the first season. In her director/producer role, Barnette directed two episodes herself, and helped to mentor other directors as they transitioned from from television to film throughout the entire production.

Shortly after her work on Queen Sugar Barnette went on to direct episodes of the Vh1 series The Breaks in addition to episodes in seasons 3 and 4 of the BET fan favorite Being Mary Jane.

Barnette is known for breaking down barriers for women and people of color. In 1986, while only 25 years old, Barnette became the first African-American woman to direct a sitcom, and, years later, the first to earn a production deal from a major studio. She then went on to accumulate an immense body of episodic work that ranges from classics such as The Cosby Show and A Different World, and has directed classic films such as Civil Brand and Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day.

In addition to her growing body of television directorial work, Barnette also has an ongoing web series with her husband called Black History Mini Docs which are 90 second docs about black history.

We are excited to see more from this amazing pioneer!

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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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