Joshua Seftel is an American documentary, television and feature filmmaker and producer.
While attending Tufts University as a pre-med and French Literature major, Seftel created his first documentary as homage to retiring professor Seymour Simches.
Motivated by the positive reception of his first documentary, Seftel then created the documentary Lost and Found: The Story of Romania’s Forgotten Children in 1992. The film followed the first American relief team to visit Romanian orphanages after the fall of Ceausescu. The 30-minute film ended up airing on public television across Europe and the United States, and received an Emmy nomination.
In 1994 he directed the documentary short Old Warrior (1994), which traced the forgotten history of the Senior Citizens Power Movement. The film won a Gold Plaque at the 1995 Chicago International Film Festival. In 1996 Seftel directed the CBS News commissioned dark mini-documentary The Real Russell, in which the director and author Michael Lewis explored Bob Doles’ hometown of Russell, Kansas.
That same year Seftel also directed Taking on the Kennedy’s, a television documentary that told the story of Kevin Vigilante, a political neophyte making a bid for U.S. Congress against 26-year-old Patrick Kennedy. The film was picked up by PBS and broadcast internationally. In 1997 the film was nominated for Best Documentary at the Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, and won a Documentary Award at the New England Film & Video Festival.
In 2000 he directed the documentary Ennis' Gift. The film centered on people who have learning differences and featured actors, scientists and business leaders talking about how their learning differences have not limited their success. He has produced over 50 pieces for the arts program Greater Boston Arts, which have received eight Emmy nominations.
In 2002 he received a one-year fellowship with the National Arts Journalism Program and the Columbia schools of the Arts and Journalism. Seftel has also directed a number of television projects, including episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003), the reality series Survivor's Guide to High School (2004), the game show Fetch! (2006), and over 20 television reports for CBS News.
Seftel made his first foray into fictional filmmaking in 2003 with Breaking the Mold: The Kee Malesky Story, an educational comedy for children about real-life National Public Radio librarian Kee Malesky. In 2008 Seftel made his first feature length film, War, Inc. The film was a political satire that starred John Cusack, Hilary Duff, Ben Kingsley and Marisa Tomei.