Neal Jimenez (born May 22, 1960) is a screenwriter and film director, best known for the 1986 film River's Edge. He was a member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994. He won Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature and Best Screenplay for The Waterdance.Jimenez attended UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. In 1984, while a film student, he went hiking with some friends and slipped on a rock, falling twenty feet into a shallow pool below. He was initially paralyzed from the neck down but subsequent surgeries restored movement to his upper body and he has been a paraplegic since. The film The Waterdance, which he wrote and co-directed, was partly based on his experience in rehabilitation. He is of Mexican American descent.