Sean Covel

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Sean Covel
Sean Covel.jpg
Born (1976-03-04) March 4, 1976 (age 44)
Other namesSean C. Covel
OccupationFilm producer
Years active2004–present
(m. 2010; div. 2012)

Sean Covel (born March 4, 1976) is an American film producer best known for being a producer of Napoleon Dynamite.

Early life[edit]

Covel grew up in Edgemont, South Dakota[1] and attended college at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, majoring in Broadcast Management with a minor in acting. Covel then took a position as a headhunter in San Francisco, and eventually opened his own firm before ultimately turning his attention back to film making. Covel received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Peter Stark Producing Program where he occasionally lectures.[2][3]


After college, Covel began work on the film Think Tank. In 2003 he joined the team writing and producing Napoleon Dynamite, which won critical acclaim.[4] For his and Chris Wyatt's work on the film, they were nominated for the producer award at the 20th Independent Spirit Awards.[5]

Covel's other producing credits include 12 Dogs of Christmas, Beneath,[6] Carter & June [7] and Cafe.[8]

In 2019, Covel gave a TED talk entitled “The mind is a computer. The question is how,” on the mental framework of problem-solving.[9]


In 2015, he founded a children's charity, 12 Days of Pizza, which works annually with Pizza Ranch to help low-income elementary school children eat over school holiday periods. It started with 144 meals being provided to 12 families. Within a three-year period, the program grew to provide over 12,000 meals to over 1000 food-insecure families with elementary school aged children. The program continues to expand each year.[10][11] The program is also available for people affected due to coronavirus.[12]

In 2019, Covel partnered with illustrator Rebecca Swift to launch a 64-book series for kids, in which the title character is called Porter the Hoarder. The first book, Porter the Hoarder and the Ransacked Room, was a bestseller in 2019.[13][14]

The Porter the Hoarder series is now part of a charitable program with The United Way called Black Hills Reads. The partnership saw over 2000 books given to elementary school children in the Black Hills area in January 2019.[15]

Following the success of this initiative, the S.D. Statewide Family Engagement Center (SDSFEC) became involved with the series, using the books as a vehicle for promoting more active engagement from children and their parents in literature and literacy. As part of the partnership, over 10,000 more students received books. The partnership will run for four more years.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Covel was married to actress Alexa Vega from 2010 to 2012.[17][18]


  • Napoleon Dynamite (2004) - Producer
  • The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005) - Producer
  • Think Tank (2006) - Producer
  • Beneath (2007) - Producer
  • Broken Hill (2009) - Executive Producer
  • Cafe (2011) - Producer
  • Napoleon Dynamite (TV Series -2012) - Producer
  • Concrete Blondes (2013) - Producer
  • Driving Blind (Documentary - 2014) - Executive Producer
  • Carter & June (2017) - Producer
  • Tater Tot & Patton (2017) - Executive Producer[19][20]


  1. ^ a b Sean Covel at IMDb
  2. ^ Notable Alumni Archived February 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Accessed March 10, 2008.
  3. ^ "USC Cinematic Arts | School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile". Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Napoleon Dynamite". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster.
  5. ^ Harris, Dana (November 30, 2004). "Nominees: Spirit Awards hoist a glass to 'Sideways'". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  6. ^ McCants, Jeffrey E. (July 16, 2006). "Got money?; 'Dynamite' producer says even art takes a bit of moolah". Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  7. ^ "Berlin: 'Napoleon Dynamite' Producer Unveils Heist 'Carter & June'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  8. ^ de la Fuente, Anna Marie (February 15, 2011). "Maya visits 'Cafe'". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "TEDx Rapid City to feature 12 speakers, including producer of 'Napoleon Dynamite' | Local |". Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  10. ^ Perez, Taylar. "12 Days of Pizza back for another year". Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Rain, Click (July 4, 2018). "12 Days of Pizza | Pizza Ranch". Pizza Ranch. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Manus, Tanya. "Days of Pizza program aiding families in area". Rapid City Journal Media Group. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "US News Porter the Hoarder".
  14. ^ KSFY. "'Napoleon Dynamite' producer and local artist create new children's book series". Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  15. ^ KSFY. "South Dakota author teams up with Family Engagement Center". Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  16. ^ Pioneer, Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills. "Hollywood producer pens children's book, morphs into statewide literacy promotion tool". Black Hills Pioneer. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  17. ^ "Edgemont Celebrates "Sean's New Movie"". Edgemont Tribune. October 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 27, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009. After the Saturday evening (7 pm) show, Vega came to the front for what was intended to be a question and answer session. However, during the show, Sean had surprised her with an engagement ring, so that took center stage!
  18. ^
  19. ^ "TATER TOT & PATTON | Dances With Films". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE: An Interview with Producer Sean Covel - ScriptFest". ScriptFest. June 3, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2018.

External links[edit]