Joshua shunned medical school for career making documentaries

WHEN documentary maker Joshua Seftel was led into an orphanage, hand in hand with a Romanian youngster, he had a feeling that his Jewish guilt would subside.

He was supposed to go to medical school, encouraged by his parents.

However, after spending weeks in different orphanages — which led to his documentary Lost and Found: the Story of Romania's Forgotten Children — he realised he could make just as big an impact as if he had he gone into medicine.

“I’ve always been interested in the world, and the idea I had was that I would go to medical school and then join Doctors Without Borders, travelling the world and helping people in need,” Brooklyn-based Joshua told me.

“But once I graduated, I decided to go to Romania.

“I’d volunteered in a local hospital and seen severely injured people and dead people, but I had never seen such a large group of children in distress.

“When we pulled up outside the orphanage, I had my camera with me, but didn’t know what to do.

“The next thing, a little boy came running right up to me, held my hand and walked me in. That calmed me down.”

The documentary, which told the plight of Romania’s 120,000 orphaned and abandoned children and received an Emmy nomination, led to thousands of those youngsters being adopted by Americans.

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