NOEL SCHWERIN has been making documentary films for more than twenty years, as an independent producer, a veteran of PBS’ NOVA and Secret of Life series and for the last decade as Writer/Producer/Director at Backbone Media, the nonprofit production company she founded.
Schwerin has written, produced and directed numerous award-winning films, including BLOODLINES: Technology Hits Home for which she was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and won the top prizes at, among others, the National Association of Science Writers, the New York Festivals, the Association of Women in Communications and the International Health and Media Awards. BLOODLINES received many honors (see and has been used by such national organizations as the U.S. Senate, the National Association of Women Judges, the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission and the Federal Judicial Center.
Schwerin also wrote, produced and directed the two-hour national, primetime PBS special, A Question of Genes, about the ethics of genetic testing. A Question of Genes won numerous national awards, and Schwerin was featured in a half-page interview in the New York Times’ Sunday edition. The film also earned a special citation in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Report on Public Broadcasting and The Needs of Minority and Diverse Audiences.
Schwerin’s work is permanently displayed at a number of museums, including San Jose’s TechMuseum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Schwerin created X-RAY VISIONS, a groundbreaking documentary art installation that incorporated photographs made from actual x-rays with excerpts from the medical record. Designed for hospitals, X-RAY VISIONS opened at the Massachusetts General Hospital and received extensive national press coverage.
Schwerin produced, and directed the PBS documentary, Just Passing Through, and at NOVA where she worked for six years, co-directed Yellowstone’s Burning Question, and Associate Produced such award-winning films as So You Want to Be a Doctor? (Doctors’ Diaries), The Big Spill, Freud Under Analysis, and the series, The Secret of Life.
Schwerin has worked in news production for CBS and ABC Network News, and as film consultant and Series Producer for the Carnegie Corporation.
Schwerin lives in San Francisco with her husband, evolutionary biologist David Ackerly, and their two sons.

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