“Cut and print that sucker”, is the saying that Neema Barnette always yells out after a “shot” or “film take” that she is pleased with on her film shoots. Once again Neema is putting her coined phrase in action with Mara Brock Akil’s OWN series Love Is. We recently caught up with visionary director Neema Barnette after she finished her edit on ‘LOVE IS”  a new series created by Mara Brock Akil, creator of Being Mary Jane, Girlfriends, The Game & Black Lightening. “Love Is” is an drama television series based on Akil’s’ real-life relationship, the series follows a modern-day power couple in Black Hollywood balancing successful careers and family over three decades. “I simply love working with Mara! She’s so gifted, kind, encouraging, supportive and giving, she’s a dream for any director!”, Neema stated in her interview with us.

Barnette directed episode 8 of the series and she appeared excited about it. “I can’t wait for it to air.  The cast is wonderful and I had a special episode with Queen Loretta Divine, who was spectacular!   Working with women like Loretta and Alfre Woodard in Luke Cage, is the best!  They are immensely talented artists who always bring their A game!   I’m honored to have experienced sharing creative energy with them.


The cast is full of talent and Neema was re-united with her old pal from A DIFFERENT WORLD, Kadeem Harrison! “Kadeem is such a talent, he has taken the role of the sitcom executive and put his foot in it! I mean really, masterful work, seamless”  I also loved working with Michelle and Will, the lead actors. They’re both gifted and eager to grow which is exactly what they are doing!”

“Mara has created a Black love story with real issues to work out and real commitments to make!”  We need this and thank God Oprah has provided the platform form shows like LOVE IS  & QUEEN SUGAR!  It’s a marvelous time to be working and I’m thankful every day!

The series premiered on June 19, 2018, on the Oprah Winfrey Network. You can watch Neema’s episode on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Please check your local listings for the exact time in your area.

The reviews are in, the people have had their say.  Everyone is singing Queen Sugars’ praise.  Finally, it's the television show we've all been waiting for.  OWN’s new original drama series Queen Sugar, from Ava Duvernay and Oprah Winfrey, according to a review in USA Today, is “life, in all its colors.” As you have read on our website a few months back, Duvernay tapped Neema Barnette as producing director for the series’ 13 episodes. 

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