Safdie brothers

Joshua Safdie[1] (born April 3, 1984)[2] and Benjamin Safdie[1] (born February 24, 1986)[3] are American independent filmmakers based in New York City, who frequently collaborate on their films. They are best known for writing and directing the 2017 film Good Time and the 2019 film Uncut Gems.

Josh and Benny Safdie
Joshua Safdie
(1984-04-03) April 3, 1984 (age 36)
Benjamin Safdie
(1986-02-24) February 24, 1986 (age 34)

Alma materBoston University
OccupationFilmmakers, actors
Years active2007–present
AwardsFull list

In addition to writing and directing, both Josh and Benny serve in a variety of key positions including acting, editing, shooting, mixing sound, and producing their films. They have also frequently collaborated with Ronald Bronstein, who has co-written and edited all of their narrative features beginning with the 2009 film Daddy Longlegs. Other recurring collaborators include composer Oneohtrix Point Never and cinematographer Sean Price Williams.

Early lifeEdit

The Safdie brothers were raised in New York, the children of Amy and Alberto Safdie.[4] They spent their childhood living between their father in Queens and their mother and stepfather in Manhattan.[4] The Safdie brothers are Jewish. Their father, who is of Sephardic Jewish of Syrian-Jewish and Lebanese-Jewish descent, was raised in France and Italy.[4][5][6][7][8] Their mother is of Russian-Jewish descent.[9]

They began making films at a young age, inspired by their film-enthusiast father, Alberto.[4] They graduated from Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in Manhattan.[4] At Boston University, they co-founded the creative collective Red Bucket Films with Alex Kalman, Sam Lisenco, Brett Jutkiewicz, and Zachary Treitz.[10] Josh and Benny Safdie graduated from Boston University College of Communication in 2007 and 2008, respectively.[11] They claim "turmoil of their youth", as children of divorced parents, became an inspiration for later work.[12] Famed Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie is their great uncle, and they are also related to his son, playwright Oren Safdie.[13][14]


The Pleasure of Being RobbedEdit

In 2007, Josh Safdie was hired by Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti to create a short film featuring Kate Spade Handbags.[15] He devised a concise story about the adventures of a kleptomaniac woman.[15] Eleonore Hendricks, who co-wrote the screenplay, portrayed the lead role.[15] The project eventually turned into a feature film.[15] The film, titled The Pleasure of Being Robbed, had its world premiere at the 2008 South by Southwest.[16] It also screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, along with a short film The Acquaintances of a Lonely John directed by Benny Safdie.[15]

Daddy LonglegsEdit

Their second feature film, Daddy Longlegs, had its world premiere under the title Go Get Some Rosemary[17] in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[18] Starring Ronald Bronstein, it was inspired by the filmmakers' younger years living with their father, Albert.[12] Bronstein won the Breakthrough Actor Award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards 2010.[19] The film won the John Cassavetes Award at the 26th Independent Spirit Awards.[20]

Lenny CookeEdit

Their first full-length documentary film, Lenny Cooke, follows the life of Lenny Cooke, a once phenom high school basketball player, from adolescence to manhood.[21] The film premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.[22]

Heaven Knows WhatEdit

In 2014, the Safdie Brothers produced Heaven Knows What under their Elara Pictures banner.[23] The film centers around the real-life stories written in a book titled Mad Love in New York City by lead actress Arielle Holmes.[24] The film had its world premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[25] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the Tokyo International Film Festival.[25]

Good TimeEdit

The Safdies directed the 2017 crime film Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson and Ben Safdie as siblings.[26] The film was selected to compete for Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[27]

Uncut GemsEdit

The Safdies (center) with Adam Sandler in December 2019.

The Safdies directed Uncut Gems, starring Adam Sandler, with Martin Scorsese serving as an executive producer.[28] The film was inspired by their father's time working in the Manhattan Diamond District.[12][7] It had its world premiere at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival.[29] Theatrically released in the United States in 2019, it received critical acclaim and became one of A24's highest-grossing releases.[30]

Future projectsEdit

In December 2017, The Hollywood Reporter announced that The Safdies will helm the 48 Hrs. remake with the script being written by Josh Safdie, Ronald Bronstein, and Jerrod Carmichael.[31] In December 2019, The Safdies elaborated in an interview with The A.V. Club, saying the film was still being made but it would no longer be a remake.[32] Their script would instead be "re-shifted into something original."[32]

In February 2020, Showtime ordered a pilot for The Curse, a parody of HGTV starring Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie. Fielder is set to co-write the show with The Safdies, and both brothers are to co-direct.[33][34]


Feature filmsEdit

Title Year Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Editor Actor
The Pleasure of Being Robbed 2008 Josh Josh Josh Josh Josh & Benny Josh
Daddy Longlegs 2009 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A Josh Josh & Benny Josh
Lenny Cooke 2013 Josh & Benny N/A N/A Josh Benny N/A
Heaven Knows What 2014 Josh & Benny Josh N/A N/A Benny N/A
Good Time 2017 Josh & Benny Josh N/A N/A Benny Benny
Uncut Gems 2019 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A N/A Benny N/A

Short filmsEdit

Title Year Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Editor Actor
I Think I'm Missing Parts 2005 Josh Josh N/A N/A N/A Benny
The Ralph Handel Story 2005 Josh & Benny N/A N/A N/A N/A Josh & Benny
We're Going To The Zoo 2006 Josh Josh Josh N/A N/A Josh
The Back of Her Head 2007 Josh Josh & Benny Josh N/A N/A Josh
Jerry Ruis, Shall We Do This? 2007 Josh N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
John’s Lonely Trip to Coney Island 2007 Josh & Benny N/A N/A Josh Benny Benny
The Acquaintances of a Lonely John 2008 Benny Benny Benny N/A Benny Benny
There’s Nothing You Can Do 2008 Josh & Benny N/A N/A N/A N/A Benny
John's Gone 2010 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny Josh & Benny Josh Josh & Benny Benny
Straight Hustle 2011 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A N/A N/A N/A
Solid Gold 2012 Josh & Benny N/A N/A Josh N/A Benny
The Black Balloon 2012 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A N/A Benny N/A
Trophy Hunter 2012 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A Josh Josh N/A
Toback Vs. Mailer: The Incident 2016 Josh & Benny Josh & Benny N/A N/A Benny N/A
Goldman v Silverman 2020 Josh & Benny N/A N/A Josh N/A Benny

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b Ross, Alex Robert (July 23, 2019). "The Weeknd will appear alongside Adam Sandler in crime thriller Uncut Gems". The Fader. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Josh Safdie". AlloCiné. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "Benny Safdie". AlloCiné. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sanneh, Kelefa (December 16, 2019). "The Safdie Brothers' Full-Immersion Filmmaking". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Robinson, George (August 17, 2010). "Being The Safdie Brothers". The Jewish Week. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (August 10, 2017). "Safdie brothers bring a New York flavor to breakout thriller 'Good Time'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Barshad, Amos (August 21, 2017). "The Safdie Brothers Are Classic New York Hustlers". The Fader. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (June 17, 2015). "Life as lived by a homeless junkie". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Vance, Kelly (December 25, 2019). "Hoops Hoopla + Precious Stones = Mayhem". East Bay Express. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Muhlke, Christine (August 24, 2008). "Our Gang". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  11. ^ Brown, Joel (June 12, 2015). "Safdie Brothers' Film Captures Life on the Street". Bostonia. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Lim, Denis (May 13, 2010). "Growing Up With Dad, Distilled With Bite". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Robbins, Liz (August 11, 2013). "Museum, All 60 Square Feet of It, Celebrates the Eccentric". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e Kohn, Eric (October 2, 2008). "iW PROFILE | "The Pleasure of Being Robbed" Director Josh Safdie". IndieWire. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "The Pleasure of Being Robbed". South by Southwest. 2008. Archived from the original on March 11, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  17. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (January 7, 2010). "3 More Sundance Films Set for Immediate VOD Debut". IndieWire. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Nelson, Rob (May 16, 2009). "Go Get Some Rosemary". Variety. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Karger, Dave (November 29, 2010). "'Winter's Bone' wins big at Gotham Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  20. ^ Fernandez, Sofia M. (February 26, 2011). "2011 Independent Spirit Awards Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Diaz, Angel (December 7, 2013). "Interview: Lenny Cooke and the Filmmakers of His Documentary Talk About LeBron, Their Process, and Lenny's Regrets". Complex. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  22. ^ Harris, Brandon (December 6, 2013). "Hoop Dreams: Josh and Benny Safdie on Lenny Cooke". Filmmaker. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  23. ^ Yamato, Jen (April 23, 2014). "Safdie Bros Launch Elara Pictures Banner With Drama 'Heaven Knows What'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  24. ^ Macaulay, Scott (April 28, 2015). "I Want to Take You Higher: Josh and Ben Safdie on Heaven Knows What". Filmmaker. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  25. ^ a b Khawj, Abdulrahman (May 11, 2015). "Watch: Electric New Trailer For Josh And Ben Safdie's Award Winning 'Heaven Knows What'". IndieWire. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  26. ^ Hoby, Hermione (November 16, 2017). "Good Time directors the Safdie brothers: 'Robert Pattinson was just a guy chasing work'". The Guardian. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  27. ^ Porreca, Brian (May 25, 2017). "Cannes: 'Good Time' Starring Robert Pattinson Gets Overwhelming Standing Ovation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  28. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (October 18, 2019). "Adam Sandler on getting beat 'black and blue,' shooting nude scenes for Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  29. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (August 31, 2019). "Telluride Audiences Rattled by 'Uncut Gems,' an Endurance Test With a Great Adam Sandler Performance". IndieWire. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (December 29, 2019). "Adam Sandler's 'Uncut Gems' Scores Box Office Record for A24". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  31. ^ Kit, Borys (December 14, 2017). "'48 Hrs.' Remake in the Works with 'Good Time' Filmmakers (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  32. ^ a b Dowd, A.A. (December 20, 2019). "The Safdie brothers on Uncut Gems and how they convinced Adam Sandler to take the role of his career". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 18, 2020). "Showtime Orders 'The Curse' Comedy Pilot From the Safdie Brothers & Nathan Fielder". Deadline. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  34. ^ "Nathan Fielder is making a comedy pilot with the Safdie brothers". News. Retrieved February 19, 2020.

External linksEdit