Best known in Hollywood for penning a forgettable Dolph Lundgren vehicle (The Punisher) and a below-average Clint Eastwood film (The Rookie), Boaz Yakin made quite a leap in quality with his first directorial effort, Fresh. The independently produced film, which shared the Filmmakers' award at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival with Clerks, was an original, highly-polished voice amidst the host of rambunctious urban crime dramas which sprang up after New Jack City and Boyz in the Hood. Fresh stands out thanks to Yakin's conscious effort to alter the conventions of the genre. Gone is the visual and sonic flashiness typically found in the other early 1990s urban dramas; instead there is more traditional cinematography from Adam Holender, who slickly captured New York's underworld in Midnight Cowboy and The Panic in Needle Park. The perfect match for Holender's detached, exacting photography is the coolly intelligent debut performance from Sean Nelson, in the role of the title character.