Yudi Bennett had dreamed of working as photojournalist while in college in Boston, but after a documentary she directed won a national award, shifted her interests into filmmaking. In the early 1970s she obtained her first entertainment job as a production assistant on a low-budget horror film titled The Haunt. She subsequently joined the DGA’s Assistant Training Program in New York and worked on the films Turning Point (1977), An Unmarried Woman (1978), and See How She Runs (1978) as a trainee. In 1979, upon graduation of the program, Bennett’s first job as a second assistant director on the film Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), for which director Robert Benton won the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award. After working as a 2nd AD on several more films including The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), Willie & Phil (1980), and Stardust Memories (1980), Bennett was promoted to 1st AD for Alan Alda’s film The Four Seasons in 1981.
Bennett has worked as a 1st AD on over 40 feature films and television movies, including The Chosen (1981), Author! Author! (1982), Packin’ It In (1983), Mischief (1985), Broadcast News (1987), Chances Are (1989), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), The Client (1994), Star Trek: Generations (1994), The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), I’m Not Rappaport (1996), The Game (1997), Pleasantville (1998), Annie (1999), The Beach Boys: An American Family (2000), and the television series Watching Ellie.
Yudi Bennett served on the DGA’s West Coast AD/UPM/TC Council from 1991 to 2006, with three terms as First Vice-Chair of the Council. She was also a member of the Council’s Safety Committee, Community Service Committee, Mentor Committee, and Benefits Committee. From 1997 to 2005, she served on the DGA’s National Board, the Board of the DGA Foundation, and has also been a Trustee of the DGA Pension and Health Plan. In 2003, Bennett received the Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of her career achievements and service to the Directors Guild of America. She also served on the 1996, 1999 and 2002 Negotiating Committees.