Selected as one of Variety Magazine's 'Top 10 Directors to Watch', Emily is an ambidextrous filmmaker who has directed five features. Her narrative feature Toe to Toe was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, theatrically released nationwide by Strand. Abt’s screenwriting credits include Toe to Toe, True to the Game, Unborn and Thirsty for which she won the Athena Award.

Abt has shot, produced and directed feature documentaries for Showtime, PBS, OWN, Starz and the Sundance Channel. She is also a seasoned commercial director who has created branded content campaigns for clients such as Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Oracle, Pfizer and Bloomingdales.

Abt's first feature documentary Take It From Me (PBS’s POV series) was created when she was a 22 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 G" which was executive produced by the actors Omar Epps and Malik Yoba. The film won eight Best Documentary awards and premiered on the Starz network in 2017. In 2018 Abt directed Beyond the Opposite Sex, a documentary feature for Showtime about two transgender people living in rural America. Abt shot and directed the short film Born A Fighter which was commissioned by the genetics testing company 23andMe. It premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2021 Abt was hired by producer George Rush to co-write the narrative feature comedy Unborn which she is also attached to direct. Her current narrative feature project Thirsty is being produced by Jeff Allard, stars Jamie Neumann and is slated for production in 2022.

Films by Emily Abt

Take It From Me

Captured over two years, Take It From Me is a feature-length documentary about four women struggling against great odds to raise themselves and their families out of poverty in New York City. 

Toe to Toe

Toe to Toe tells the story of the friendship and rivalry between lacrosse teammates Tosha and Jesse, two senior girls at a competitive Washington, D.C. prep school. The two forge a close bond on the lacrosse field, but their friendship unravels as they navigate through gender, sexuality, race and class-related obstacles.

All of Us

A young doctor in the South Bronx embarks on a project to find out why African-American women are becoming infected with HIV at alarming rates. She finds a dangerous power imbalance that all heterosexual women face in the bedroom, but rarely discuss. Selected as Showtime’s 2008 World AIDS Day Film.

Daddy Don’t Go

Captured over two years, Daddy Don’t Go is a feature length documentary about four disadvantaged fathers in New York City as they struggle to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype.