Boaz Yakin

Boaz Yakin (Hebrew: בועז יכין‎, born June 20, 1966)[1] is an Israeli-American screenwriter, film director, and producer based in New York City. He has written screenplays to films like The Rookie, Fresh, A Price Above Rubies, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Now You See Me, and has directed the 2000 sports drama Remember the Titans and the 2012 Jason Statham action film Safe. As a producer he has collaborated frequently with filmmaker Eli Roth and served as executive producer for the first two entries in the Hostel franchise.

Boaz Yakin
Born (1966-06-20) June 20, 1966 (age 55)
OccupationWriter, director, producer
Years active1989-present
Known forRemember the Titans
(m. 2004; div. 2012)

Early lifeEdit

Yakin was born in New York City. Both his parents are Israeli-born,[2][3] and met in Paris while studying mime with Marcel Marceau.[4] His father's family are of Sephardic Jewish (Syrian-Jewish and Egyptian-Jewish) descent, and his mother's family is of Ashkenazi Jewish (Polish-Jewish) descent.[5]

He attended the Bronx High School of Science, where he was classmates in 1983 with actor Jon Cryer.[3] He studied filmmaking at City College of New York then at New York University and made his first deal for a screenplay at age 19.[4]

His name consists of the first two pillars of Freemasonry.


After finishing school, Yakin worked in the film industry, developing projects for several companies, and saw his first screenplay reach the screen in 1989, when The Punisher, a vehicle for Dolph Lundgren, was released. Yakin's next screenplay was 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. The film won critical acclaim, earning the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.

Yakin went back to his youth for inspiration on his next project. His experience with the Chassidic community informed his screenplay for A Price Above Rubies. 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 talents.

His Holocaust drama Death in Love debuted in January 2008. Yakin describes it as a movie about the failure of the family and inability to change your past.[2]

He was a member of the US Dramatic Jury at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.[6]

In 2010, it was announced that Yakin would direct Sympathy for the Devil, with Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Duhamel in the cast.[7] The project was still in development as of 2014.

Yakin's family film Max was released by Warner Bros. and MGM on June 26, 2015.[8]

His 2020 film, Aviva, was set to premier at the SXSW Film Festival, but was released publicly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Yakin was married to Israeli music video director Alma Har'el.[10] The couple divorced in 2012.


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1989 The Punisher No Yes No
1990 The Rookie No Yes No Co-wrote with Scott Spiegel
1994 Fresh Yes Yes No Directorial debut
1998 A Price Above Rubies Yes Yes No
1999 From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money No Story No Co-wrote with Scott Spiegel
2000 Remember the Titans Yes No No
2003 Uptown Girls Yes No Executive
2004 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights No Yes No Co-wrote with Victoria Arch
2008 Death in Love Yes Yes Yes
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time No Yes No Co-wrote with Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard
2012 Safe Yes Yes No
2013 Now You See Me No Yes Executive Co-wrote with Ed Solomon and Edward Ricourt
2015 Max Yes Yes Executive Co-wrote with Sheldon Lettich
2018 Boarding School Yes Yes No
2020 Aviva Yes Yes Yes
2021 The Harder They Fall No Yes No Co-wrote with Jeymes Samuel


  • Marathon, a graphic novel illustrated by Joe Infurnari, First Second, 2012
  • Jerusalem, a graphic novel illustrated by Nick Bertozzi, First Second, 2013


  1. ^ Profile at
  2. ^ a b Davis, Barry. "Sometimes you have to invest yourself", The Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Annual Report" (PDF). Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 11, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Biography of Boaz Yakin, in
  5. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (July 8, 2015). "Through a dog's ordeal, director focuses on humanity". Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Sundance Film Festival Announces Awards 2009, Sundance Festival
  7. ^ Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Duhamel to Show Sympathy for the Devil
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (May 30, 2014). "Dog Tale 'Max,' Starring Josh Wiggins, Fetches Jan. 30 Release Date". Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  9. ^ Hoffman, Jordan. "Why Hollywood director Boaz Yakin's newest project is a gender-fluid art film". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  10. ^ Keehn, Anne. "Alma Har'el Rocks With The Rolling Stones". Swindle. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2013.

External linksEdit