Selected as one of Variety Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Directors to Watch’, Emily Abt is an ambidextrous filmmaker who has directed six feature films – two narratives and four documentaries. Abt is also a seasoned documentary cinematographer and branded content director who has created films for clients such as 23andMe, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Oracle.
Abt’s narrative feature “Toe to Toe” was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and released by Strand. Abt’s current fiction feature project “Thirsty” won the Athena Award for scripts featuring outstanding female protagonists and stars Jamie Neumann, Sung Kang, Tyler Lepley, Kyra Sedgwick, Thora Birch, Brandee Evans and Briana Venskus-Vazquez. “Thirsty” was filmed in the Bay Area during winter 2022 and is now in post-production.
Abt’s first feature documentary “Take It From Me” (PBS’s POV series) was created when she was a 23 year-old caseworker in New York City. She then went on to receive her MFA in film directing from Columbia University and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to make her thesis film. Abt’s other feature documentaries include “All Of Us” (Showtime’s 2008 World AIDs Day film) and “Daddy Don’t Go” which was executive produced by the actors/activists Omar Epps and Malik Yoba. The film won eight “Best Documentary” awards and premiered on the Starz network in 2017. In 2018 Abt was tapped by Showtime to direct the feature documentary feature “Beyond the Opposite Sex” about two transgender people living in rural America. It premiered on the network in Spring 2018. Also in 2018, Emily shot and directed the short film “Born A Fighter” which was commissioned by 23andMe and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019.
In 2020 Abt was hired by producer George Rush (“Sorry to Bother You”, “Burn Country”, etc) to co-write the feature comedy “Unborn” which she is also attached to direct. From 2020-2021 Abt served as a Consulting Producer on the recently released Amazon Studios documentary “Wildcat” and is currently Executive Producing the forthcoming feature documentaries “Suzy” and “Transcending”. She is also developing a Berkeley based episodic series entitled “Pureland”.
Abt was a Brooklyn based filmmaker for 20 years who moved to the Bay area in 2016 with her husband (UC Berkeley Professor Shamik Dasgupta) and their two daughters. She is a member of New Day Films, Free the Bid, Film Fatales and the Collective of Documentary Women Cinematographers.