Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Barnett is a graduate from Syracuse University and finished school among the top one percent of his class in May of 2009. He has worked throughout New York City and Los Angeles, earning experience both on set and in the production office. He began earning recognition for his body of work when he was named a top emerging artist by Student Filmmakers Magazine (Page 30, September 2008) and Art For Progress (Website Homepage, November 2008). His short format productions have gone on to premiere at film festivals around the world.
Barnett Brettler was awarded a Screenwriting grant at UCLA in 2012 for Waking Hours.