A writer and director with a gift for dealing with controversial issues on personal, human terms, Boaz Yakin was born in New York City in 1966. Yakin's parents had a creative bent -- they met in Paris while both were studying mime with Marcel Marceau -- and after graduating from high school, Yakin opted to study filmmaking at New York City College. He soon moved on to New York University, and made his first deal for a screenplay at the age of 19. After finishing school, Yakin worked in the film business helping to develop projects for several companies, and saw his first screenplay reach the screen in 1989, when The Punisher, a vehicle for Dolph Lundgren , was released. A year later, Yakin's next screenplay arrived in theaters -- a more distinguished project called The Rookie, starring Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen. Wanting to take on more personal material, Yakin drew from his experiences growing up in New York's inner city for his next screenplay, Fresh. Yakin opted to direct his screenplay for Fresh himself, and the film won critical raves, earning the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. Yakin went back to his youth for inspiration on his next project; while his parents were non-practicing Jews, they enrolled their son in an Orthodox private school when he was five, and his experience with the Chassidic community informed his screenplay for A Price Above Rubies, a more difficult project which did not fare quite as well with critics or audiences as Fresh. Yakin rebounded with his next assignment, which was his first film that he directed but did not write; Remember the Titans was a major box-office success, and moved him to the upper tier of bankable Hollywood talent.