Smartypants

Smartypants We are a collection of brand-builders, documentarian thought-provokers, independent truth-seekers, and non-profit do-gooders.

10/13/2020
How To Fix A Primary

How To Fix A Primary

An enthusiastic shout out to everyone who worked on the film: director/producer/writer Brittany Huckabee; producer Joshua Seftel; consulting producer Wajahat Ali; co-producers Anna Bick Rowe, Jeremy Mack and Eric Nichols; cinematographers Brittany Huckabee and Jack Tumen; composer Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum; graphic artist Christian Mroczka; executive producers Shakeeb Alam and Kashif Shaikh (Pillars Fund); associate producers Iltefat Hamzavi and Sameer Shamsi; additional camera Mohamed Al-Mawla; colorist Mike Feldman; sound editor Chris Stangroom and the audio wizards at HOBO; and whole team at Smartypants Pictures. Featuring a very cool song by Nellie McKay.

10/02/2020

Big news: Gravitas Ventures has picked up the rights to Brittany Huckabee and Joshua Seftel's film "How To Fix A Primary." This doc pulls back the curtain and follows Abdul El-Sayed facing insurmountable odds to confront the Michigan establishment in the heated 2018 race for governor. An Oct. 20 on demand release for 'How To Fix A Primary' is planned, just ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Read more here: https://bit.ly/30uNZc5

09/30/2020
Josh Seftel and his mother on quarantine

As seen on CBS Sunday Morning: Josh’s 83-year-old mother can do 21 push-ups. What’s your excuse?

Josh and Pat returned to last week’s CBS Sunday Morning with a new installment of the “My Mom In Quarantine” series. Full of honesty and humor when it comes to politics, grandkids, and how to find cute guys to date when they’re wearing a mask. Watch here: https://cbsn.ws/3cM8NRm

Contributor Josh Seftel – whose conversations with his mother have been featured on "Sunday Morning" from time to time – catches up with his mom, who shares her feelings on the world today, from social distancing to a visit (finally) to the hair salon.

When we profiled NFL-player-turned-neurosurgeon Dr. Myron Rolle a few years ago, we couldn't imagine he'd be appearing o...
08/04/2020
Myron Rolle: Rolle With It

When we profiled NFL-player-turned-neurosurgeon Dr. Myron Rolle a few years ago, we couldn't imagine he'd be appearing on CNN to talk about delaying sports during a pandemic.

Watch our short on PBS here: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/myron-rolle-rolle-with-it/

Watch what Dr. Rolle has to say to Anderson Cooper here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/29/us/football-player-doctor-covid-concerns/index.html

The offical website for NOVA. NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly.

07/13/2020

We made you a watchlist: This week, the Smartypants team pulled together what has inspired, uplifted, or made us think differently recently. https://bit.ly/2CrB5lU

06/18/2020
My mom in quarantine

“The older I get, the better I look in a face mask” - Josh’s Mom

CBS Sunday Morning recently featured the honest thoughts and uplifting quips from Pat, Josh Seftel's mother, in his latest interview “My Mom in Quarantine.”

View our short: http://ow.ly/kY1650AbA3H

A personal essay from filmmaker Josh Seftel, made from his video chats with his energetic mother, discussing everything from social distancing and dealing with loneliness, to the fashion of masks and dating one of the Cuomo brothers.

06/16/2020

Our friend and collaborator, Steve Maing, created a powerful documentary about the NYPD 12. The film follows a group of Black and Latino whistleblower cops as they reveal the deep-rooted racism inside the police force, shining a light on what happens when good cops try to speak out. Watch "Crime + Punishment" on Hulu here: https://hulu.tv/3ef76fa

05/20/2020

Podcasts: From cultural deep-dives to ‘true-crime-meets-comedy,’ they’re the perfect soundtrack for your daily commute.

(Of course, the current daily commute is mostly from the bedroom to the kitchen, or the living room to the kitchen, or maybe wandering around the kitchen).

Here’s what we’re listening to: http://ow.ly/TuK150zLBDs

05/14/2020

People need their Broadway fix (hence, 'Hamilton' is hitting Disney+ in July). In the meantime, catch up with another favorite orphan: Annie.

Our film, 'It's the Hard-Knock Life,' follows choreographer Andy Blankenbuelher ('Hamilton'), set designer David Korins ('Hamilton'), costume designer Susan Hilferty ('Wicked!'), and the adorable budding stars from the moment when they get the call all the way through opening night of the Broadway revival.

View our feature for PBS here: http://ow.ly/6oUu50zGjny

Last season, Josh Seftel joined Rais Bhuiyan, Richard McKinney, Mona Haydar, and WBUR's Yasmin Amer in a live conversati...
05/12/2020

Last season, Josh Seftel joined Rais Bhuiyan, Richard McKinney, Mona Haydar, and WBUR's Yasmin Amer in a live conversation about our Emmy-nominated "The Secret Life of Muslims." This week, WBUR is featuring that talk on their at-home watchlist. Check it out here: https://wbur.fm/2zuLjAr

We Made You A Watchlist: Tear-Jerker EditionWe asked the Smartypants squad to share one thing that made them cry this we...
05/08/2020
We Made You A Watchlist: Tear-Jerker Edition

We Made You A Watchlist: Tear-Jerker Edition

We asked the Smartypants squad to share one thing that made them cry this week.

Here's what's tugging at our heartstrings: http://ow.ly/N4YI50zBaDO

“Everybody's got a soft spot for tales of an unlikely friendship, and this story about a stray kitten and a pit bull knows exactly where to hit.”

05/05/2020

Unusual times call for unusual skills. For anyone going a bit stir crazy, there's a wealth of tutorials and DIY resources online. Here's what the Smartypants crew has been up to.
https://bit.ly/2zcyoTA

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to love this story.THE HOME TEAM (8-minutes watch)With no March Madness last month...
04/28/2020
The Home Team — Smartypants

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to love this story.

THE HOME TEAM (8-minutes watch)

With no March Madness last month, you can get some of your college basketball fix with our short film – which debuted at SXSW – that celebrates the Murray State Racers, the team from the friendliest small town in America.

View our short here: http://ow.ly/ioja50zqKBy

The Home Team Liberty Mutual Director: Smartypants Pictures Agency: Hill Holliday Official Selection SXSW '14Official Selection AFI Docs

04/27/2020

We asked the Smartypants squad to share one thing that made them laugh this week. Here's what we came up with: https://bit.ly/2Y92TEl

This watchlist by The New York Times is perfect for those moments between Zoom calls. (And we're proud to have one of ou...
04/23/2020

This watchlist by The New York Times is perfect for those moments between Zoom calls. (And we're proud to have one of our films on it, too).

THE MANY SAD FATES OF MR. TOLEDANO (26-minutes watch)

“Enter the charming but undeniably morbid world of Phil Toledano, a prominent New York photographer who spent years obsessively staging the ways he most feared his life might turn out.”

Watch our short film and check out the full list here: http://ow.ly/Igry50zlOH0

Some of us have moved home with our parents. Others are video chatting with them all the time. So here’s a break for you...
04/07/2020
Do video calls with your parents sound like this? (3-min watch)

Some of us have moved home with our parents. Others are video chatting with them all the time.

So here’s a break for you: It’s someone else’s mom on video chat!

More specifically, it’s Smartypants founder and director Josh Seftel, getting his mom’s opinions about Bradley Cooper moving in with his mom.

View our short here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QQ3rIuN_XE

More specifically, it’s Smartypants founder and director Josh Seftel, getting his mom’s opinions about Bradley Cooper moving in with his own mother.

We’re proud to announce our film “How To Fix a Primary” is premiering at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival as part of...
04/01/2020
“Apart”, “How to Fix A Primary” to get world premieres via Full Frame’s digital fest

We’re proud to announce our film “How To Fix a Primary” is premiering at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival as part of the 2020 New Docs competition. "This is a story not of one person’s political dream, but of a tenacious movement that will not be put down easily." Find out more here: https://realscreen.com/2020/04/01/apart-how-to-fix-a-primary-to-get-world-premieres-via-full-frames-digital-fest/

Jennifer Redfearn’s Apart and Brittany Huckabee’s How to Fix A Primary are among the titles slated to world premiere as part of the 2020 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival lineup. The 23rd annual festival was originally ...

03/31/2020

You may have seen David Ho in the news, as he races to find a treatment for COVID-19.

And he just may be the guy to save us. Ho was the one who discovered the AIDS cocktail, after all.

Watch our short film for CalTech, diving into Ho’s breakthrough that saved millions of lives:

https://wdrv.it/4006c35be

03/26/2020

Each week, your friends at Smartypants will send out a different kind of watchlist – expertly curated in our office Slack channel, of course.

We're kicking things off with our favorite movies. Check out our newsletter here: https://bit.ly/3dxeoLa

You live inside your head, but do you understand how it works? Join us next Friday the 13th to find out how running gene...
03/04/2020

You live inside your head, but do you understand how it works? Join us next Friday the 13th to find out how running generates new brain cells, and for an exclusive and thought-provoking look into one of our latest films, Go Together, at the Rubin Museum of Art

More info available here: http://therubin.org/2ya

Come together for a screening of our short film for adidas "Go Together." Learn from Dr. Karen Postal how running genera...
01/31/2020
How Running Changes the Brain-NYC Runners + Dr. Karen Postal | Rubin Museum of Art

Come together for a screening of our short film for adidas "Go Together." Learn from Dr. Karen Postal how running generates new brain cells, in conversation with Jessie Zapo, Adam Francique, and Director Joshua Seftel on Friday 3/13 at The Rubin Museum Of Art 🌟

Tickets are available here: https://rubinmuseum.org/events/event/brainwave-impermanence-how-running-changes-the-brain-03-13-2020

“Run for your life!” takes on a new meaning when aerobic exercise is proven to generate new brain cells. This finding is a game-changer, since neuroscientists used to believe that the number of brain cells we are born with never…

11/08/2019
"Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs" at the Vilcek Foundation

The last day of "Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs" is nearly upon us! Make sure you visit The Vilcek Foundation's inaugural exhibition before it closes on November 13. We had the pleasure of creating this video in celebration of the exhibition and Crawford's unique creative process. Directed by Merete Mueller 🌟

08/02/2019
The Secret Life of Muslims

What an honor to be announced the Indiana Spotlight Competition Winner at Heartland Film's INDY Shorts festival! The Secret Life of Muslims film about Indiana native Richard McKinney chronicles the U.S. Marine Corps Veteran's journey from hate to love.

This ex-marine Marine planned to detonate an explosive at a Mosque, but after he was given a Koran everything changed.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Boston this week for our special panel, "Journeys From Hate To Love," featuring e...
06/20/2019

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Boston this week for our special panel, "Journeys From Hate To Love," featuring episodes from our series The Secret Life of Muslims!

Special thanks to WBUR 90.9 FM and WBUR CitySpace for hosting us.

Photo Credit: Ken Rivard Photography

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Boston this week for our special panel, "Journeys From Hate To Love." Special thanks to WBUR CitySpace and WBUR 90.9 FM for hosting such a wonderful event!

Photo Credit: Ken Rivard Photography

05/02/2019
adidas Runners | NYC & LA Recoded: "Go Together"

If you want to go far... Go Together!

So proud to announce the online release of our newest documentary! "Go Together" was directed by Joshua Seftel and created in partnership with adidas Runners, and, true to its name, we could not have done it without the incredible team of runners and creators we met along the way. We hope you enjoy!

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. This is a film about people separated by 3,000 miles, but who share a common thread....

04/30/2019
The Secret Life of Muslims

Our special animated episode of The Secret Life of Muslims is now a Vimeo Staff Pick! Such an honor to be included on this curated list of incredible films.

Our animated short, Secret History of Muslims in America, is a Vimeo Staff Pick! 🏆

Special thanks to Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, AnimaDocs, Maria Stanisheva, Professor Hussein Rashid, comedian extraordinaire Negin Farsad and the film's original home The New York Times Opinion Section.

04/23/2019
My Mom On Movies

Pat is back! Smartypants founder Joshua Seftel and his mom Patricia Seftel returned to the Sarasota Film Festival screen for the fourth year running to share one very important message.

For the fourth year in a row, My Mom on Movies returned to the Sarasota Film Festival. Our short films played at every screening, with reviews, promos, and reminders to turn off your phone or, as Pat says, "Put it on vibrate. Which I don't know how to do. Somebody showed me once but I forgot."

We won a #WilburAward! It's kind of like the Emmy for media working on subjects of religion. This special episode of The...
04/17/2019
Opinion | The Secret History of Muslims in the U.S.

We won a #WilburAward! It's kind of like the Emmy for media working on subjects of religion. This special episode of The Secret Life of Muslims made with our partner Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and co-produced with AnimaDocs, was chosen by the Religion Communicators Council to received this prestigious award. Big thanks to everyone involved, and thanks to The New York Times for putting it out into the world!

Muslims have been here since the time of the earliest explorers and have left their mark on everything from the White House to the Marine Corps uniform.

#throwback to some Smarties celebrating at our launch event for the second season of our original web series, The Secret...
04/02/2019

#throwback to some Smarties celebrating at our launch event for the second season of our original web series, The Secret Life of Muslims. Our season finale is about to drop this week - we can barely believe it.

Catch up on past episodes at our series page -- The Secret Life of Muslims.

Here's a sneak peek at photos from our Season 2 launch of our series The Secret Life of Muslims! Special thanks to Islamic Center at New York University for hosting such a wonderful event!

Photo Credit: Gabi Porter

Couldn't be more excited to see our favorite vegan, Elias, repping kids who don't eat meat in the New York Times! Check ...
09/13/2018
Elias' Stand

Couldn't be more excited to see our favorite vegan, Elias, repping kids who don't eat meat in the New York Times! Check out the Smartypants-produced film about Elias' journey over at Elias' Stand!

We're in the The New York Times!

05/30/2018
Joshua Seftel | MPAC Media Awards

Watch our founding director Joshua Seftel accept the MPAC Media Award for The Secret Life of Muslims, share his inspiration for the series, and recount how not going to medical school may have been one of his best ideas.

A heartfelt thanks to the Muslim Public Affairs Council - MPAC for their support of our series and to the fellow awardees who we got to share this honor with! #MPACMediaAwards

---------- Subscribe to MPAC's channel: http://bit.ly/MPACYouTube Visit MPAC's website: http://mpac.org Like MPAC on Facebook: http://fb.com/mpacnational Fol...

04/17/2018
NE-YO

Check out our latest for The Lincoln Motor Company, featuring musical powerhouse NE-YO and directed by Joshua Seftel.

In the latest chapter of “Lincoln First Listen,” we spent a night driving around Los Angeles in the brand new 2018 Lincoln Navigator and asking NE-YO about his new single and what it means to be a “Good Man."

Giving you a first look at my The Lincoln Motor Company First Listen. #GoodManSeason

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