Emmy-Winning Film Director
Although filmmaker Joshua Seftel is best known for directing the Emmy award-winning television show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and the feature film, War, Inc., starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei and Ben Kingsley, his recent side project is attracting a new group of fans.
After his father passed away, Seftel wanted to find a better way to connect with his mother, Pat. With her living 1,150 miles away in Sarasota, Florida and his career keeping him constantly on the go, staying in touch was challenging. Then, he bought her an iPad for her birthday and everything changed.
After a few hilarious face-to-face lessons — filled with accidental hang-ups and pointing the camera at the ground — Seftel and his mother mastered FaceTiming – or “Facelifting” as his mom called it. He steered their conversations towards pop culture and loved her hilarious and candid opinions about Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and twerking. She said the things that everyone was thinking, and as a sweet Jewish grandmother, she could get away with it. Ever the filmmaker, Seftel started recording these conversations, and soon the web series, My Mom on Movies, hit the Internet. Read More >
On CBS Sunday Morning
On Australian Television
Media and Speaking Reel
When his father passed away in 2009, Emmy-winning director, Joshua Seftel, gave his mother an iPad in hopes that it would help them stay connected. Not only did the gift exceed his hopes, but also came with an unexpected surprise – the beloved web series, My Mom on Movies, starring his mom and her hilariously candid opinions about pop culture. The iPad transformed their relationship, and they became more than a mother and son: they became friends. Supported with clips of their conversations, this hilarious and heartwarming talk focuses on how Seftel found a new way to connect with his 77-year-old mother, transforming her into a YouTube star.
For young adults in the social media age, finding new ways to stay connected with your techno-challenged parents can be difficult. In this funny and innovative speech, Filmmaker Joshua Seftel uncovers how he took his conversations with his mother into his own hands and broke free from typical mother-son conversation, deepening their bond and proving that technology can bridge generational gaps. He discusses how FaceTime made it fun to call his mom, how turning these conversations into a popular web series changed their dynamic and how modern technology can change future generations’ relationships with their parents.
When aspiring filmmakers enter the entertainment industry, they’re told to choose one path in order to become successful. Award-winning filmmaker, Joshua Seftel has proven this theory wrong and demonstrates that in today's entertainment world, it's actually more beneficial to have range and depth when it comes to creating projects. Although he may be best known for directing the Emmy winning television show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and the film, War, Inc., starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei and Ben Kingsley, he has worked across almost every medium in the industry. His ability to create meaningful and highly successful content in so many different forms — feature film, documentary, reality television, news, commercials and radio — has distinguished his career from other filmmakers. In this speech, Seftel discusses his projects and provides examples of how his work across mediums has only strengthened and advanced his ability to create meaningful content.
"Josh and Pat spoke at our recent breakfast and they were terrific. They spoke about loss, memories and how the use of technology helped to strengthen their relationship in this digital age. Together, they made our audience laugh and cry! Most of the 350 attendees went home and called their mothers or daughters to check in and say hello. Before the event, Josh was easy to work with and took the time to ensure that his talk connected to the message and mission of our event. It was a pleasure working with him. Choosing a male speaker for our women's event was a new direction - and boy was it a success! Thank you to Josh and Pat for helping ensure that our guests will come back again next year."
"It was cool enough to have Mrs. Seftel being channeled in for her comments on The Rubin’s screening of American Graffiti. But what was particularly appropriate was that the film itself is a nostalgic inter-generational vehicle. Here, between mother and son, you had a representative of this very era telling her son about the period evocations in the film with an ‘I was there’ matter-of-factness that was at once tart, comforting and winning. They make a charmed pair of storytellers, these two."
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