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In My Mom on Movies filmmaker Joshua Seftel talks with his mom, Pat, about movies, pop culture and life by webcam. (Courtesy of Phillip Toledano)

He Didn't Just Call His Mother, He Made Her A Star

by NPR Staff
May 12, 2013 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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A little over three years ago, filmmaker Josh Seftel's father passed away. After that, he says, it became difficult to keep up with his mom. He didn't use the phone very often and she didn't like email.

But then he got an idea.

He got his mom, Pat Seftel, an iPad and flew to Florida to teach her how to use it. Pretty soon they were video-chatting regularly. A filmmaker by nature, he began recording and turning the conversations into short episodes for Youtube, called My Mom on Movies.

They take on the big topics in the entertainment and pop culture world; everything from whether Denzel Washington is aging well to her stance on Lena Dunham's tattoos.

"I've learned a lot about my mom through these, which is one of the best parts," Seftel told NPR's Rachel Martin.

He says he didn't know that she had appeared as a dancer on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and that she enjoys reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Seftel says having the Web series allowed him to go beyond the usual conversations any of us have with our parents.

"We get stuck on these scripts," he says. "We talk with our parents about, 'When are we going to see you next? What are we going to eat when we see you? What time are you coming?'

"What I find with these conversations we're doing is that we're connecting as friends."

For her part, Pat Seftel is glad — and pleasantly surprised — that her son started this project.

"I sort of feel lucky that my son is interested in even doing this with me," she says. "You know, I'm just his mom."

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