Billy Shebar is a writer, director and producer of TV series and independent films. He produced Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio with Academy Award nominee Joe Berlinger, an eight-hour documentary series currently airing on Spike. He also helped develop Dark Net, the new documentary series on Showtime, writing and producing two of the eight episodes in its first season. An Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Shebar has written, produced and directed documentaries for major networks including PBS (America by the Numbers, History Detectives), Discovery (King Tut Unwrapped), A&E (The First 48), and TNT (Boston’s Finest).
Shebar has also written several narrative features, including Dark Matter (2007), which starred Meryl Streep, Liu Ye, and Aidan Quinn. Dark Matter won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and was chosen for Lincoln Center’s Film Comment Selects series. The New York Times called it “a movie of ideas that does an exemplary job of translating scientific speculation into layman’s language,” and TV Guide called it a “hypnotic, culturally pertinent drama.” His previous screenplay, 50 Ways to a Better Memory, won the Grand Prize at CineStory, and was read at Nuyorican Poets’ Café’s acclaimed Fifth Night series.
Shebar’s production company, Snow Day Films, created the web series Preston Bailey: Transformations, and is co-producing a one-hour documentary for the BBC about jazz legend Wynton Marsalis’s collaboration with classical violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Shebar collaborated with composer Meredith Monk on video projections for Magic Frequencies (1999), and with visionary architect Lebbeus Woods on Timesquare (1989), a series of videos broadcast on PBS, and exhibited at the Friedman Benda gallery in Chelsea. His narrative shorts include Unburden (writer, 2012) and Guts (director/writer, 1995) starring Kristen Johnston, which won Best Short Film at the Long Island Film Festival, and was broadcast on public television’s New York Independents.
Shebar has created many films for nonprofits, including the Robin Hood Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Columbia University, and the New Press. In 2007, he travelled to Uganda as producer and mentor to four young filmmakers to create Shooting for Peace for the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Shebar is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a Marshall Scholar.