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Isaac Florentine

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Issac Florentine
Florentine in 2008
Born (1958-07-28) 28 July 1958 (age 65)
EducationTel Aviv University
OccupationFilm director
Years active1987–present

Isaac Florentine (Hebrew: יצחק פלורנטין; born 28 July 1958) is an Israeli film director. He is best known for his martial arts and action genre films, namely Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006), Undisputed III: Redemption (2010), Ninja (2009), Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013) and Close Range (2015) and for launching the career of British actor Scott Adkins. Florentine completed his degree in Film & Television from Tel Aviv University.[1]

Early life[edit]

Florentine regularly visited local cinemas throughout his childhood in Israel, citing Sergio Leone and Bruce Lee as his biggest idols and subsequent film influences.[2] As a young man he completed mandatory service in the Israeli Army for three years before studying Film & Television at Tel Aviv University. He also trained in martial arts since his childhood, learning judo and karate from the styles Kyokushin, Shito-ryu and Goju-Kai, and started teaching karate in 1978 before opening his own school in 1979, where he also trains regularly to this day.[3] While studying at University he completed his first short film, Farewell Terminator (1987), which notably won seven awards at Mograbee Film Festival.[4]


In 1988 he moved to America with his family to pursue a career in film. His first break came from meeting producers Ronnie Hadar and Jonathan Tzachor who invited him to join the production team behind TV series Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as a stunt coordinator and second unit director.[5] After seeing his first short film, Cannon Films' Menahem Golan also offered Florentine the chance to direct his first feature film, Desert Kickboxer (1992).[6]

Florentine is positive of his time on Power Rangers where he honed many skills and filmmaking techniques. However, he would not embrace his now recognised directing style, shooting with minimal, clean edits in the mould of his other idols Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, until his third feature film, High Voltage (1997).

As a next major step in his work, he cast young British actor Scott Adkins in a supporting role for Special Forces (2003), having received his demo tape, and it would mark the first of many collaborations, including producing, directing and even second unit directing, launching Adkins' career.[7]

Florentine also directed the documentary The Life and Legend of Bob Wall (2003) and second unit directed The Legend of Hercules (2014).






Year Nominated Work Award Category Results
2010 Undisputed III: Redemption ActionFest Best Director Won[10]
2010 Undisputed III: Redemption Action on Film International Film Festival Best Director Nominated[11]


  1. ^ Isaac Florentine at IMDb
  2. ^ Fury, Mike (2015). Life of Action: Interviews with the Men and Women of Martial Arts and Action Cinema. USA: Mill City Press. pp. 253–254. ISBN 978-1634133524.
  3. ^ "Isaac Florentine: When Mixed Martial Arts Meets Martial Art Movies". Black Belt Magazine. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2023. From the beginning, [Florentine] applied his knowledge of karate—specifically, kyokushin and shito-ryu—in his directing and choreographing.
  4. ^ "Isaac Florentine One of the Most Talented Directors in the Genre". Martial Arts Entertainment. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  5. ^ Fury, Mike (2015). Life of Action: Interviews with the Men and Women of Martial Arts and Action Cinema. USA: Mill City Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-1634133524.
  6. ^ "Cinapse interview with Isaac Florentine". Cinapse. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Action svengali Isaac Florentine talks working with Scott Adkins on their seventh film together, CLOSE RANGE!". Ain't It Cool News. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  8. ^ R. Emmet Sweeney (30 October 2017). "Isaac Florentine on Acts of Vengeance, Antonio Banderas's Mastery of Fight Choreography and Making a Movie in the Wake of His Wife's Cancer Diagnosis". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  9. ^ Turner, Jeff (29 June 2018). "Isaac Florentine Interview". ActionReloade. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Chuck Norris Passes on Lifetime Achievement Award at ActionFest". Indiewire. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  11. ^ "'Undisputed 3:Redemption' Nominated in 7 Categories at AOF Festival -News". Movie Mavericks. Retrieved 5 August 2016.

External links[edit]