Joel owes his breakthrough to the cute towhead above, which came none too soon as the duo were living in a converted laundry room when Disney saw a movie in this father-son drama.

Hired to script his challenging paternal tale, Joel went on to direct the movie (NAILED) starring Harvey Keitel as his dad.

It was another Disney flick, FULL COURT MIRACLE, which airs every Christmas, that earned Joel WGA and Humanitas nominations for Best Screenplay.

This determined dad, an Ironman Triathlon finisher, has gone on to sell scripts to nearly every studio, including UNDEFEATED to Universal, LIBERTY to Fox 2000, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT to Paramount, WILL to Screen Gems, LADY IN THE LOCKER ROOM to CBS Films, CURVE to MGM and MIAMI’S DOLPHIN to Disney.

Joel’s script THE LIBRARIAN attracted Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden to star, and the film enjoyed a recent theatrical run, critic Rex Reed praising his screenplay as “touching.”

On the TV end, Joel teamed with Don Cheadle to sell the series MARCH TO MADNESS to F/X.

The Queens, New York native began his writing career as a sportswriter for newspapers including The Washington Post before switching to hard news, earning an Associated Press Award as a cops and courts reporter.

A proud University of Virginia grad, Joel is prouder of his “Heir” Jordan’s stellar high school basketball career and academic scholarship to college.