WarnerMedia has today announced Gensan Punch – its latest HBO Asia Original. The English-language film with Japanese and Tagalog will have its world premiere in “A Window on Asian Cinema” section (Competition) at the upcoming Busan International Film Festival, before streaming exclusively on HBO GO and on the HBO channel in the coming months.
The Filipino-Japanese title is also one of seven Asian films nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award in Busan. In addition, the film will screen in the “Gala Selection” (non-Competition) at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.
Created and written by Honee Alipio, Gensan Punch is produced and directed by award-winning Brillante Ma. Mendoza (Mindanao; Alpha: The Right To Kill;) is produced by Takahiro Yamashita and Krisma Maclang Fajardo, and executive produced by Mendoza, Simon Crowe and Fumie Suzuki Lancaster.
Magdalene Ew, WarnerMedia’s Head of Content – Entertainment in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Brillante and his production team on this stunning project. Gensan Punch is not only a story about boxing, but also a tale about overcoming adversity in the most remarkable ways. I fully expect it to turn heads in Busan.”
Inspired by the true story of Naozumi Tsuchiyama, Gensan Punch is about a Japanese man with a prosthetic leg who goes to the Philippines to train and pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer. The so-called Gensan Quarter of General Santos City has long been known for producing athletes including presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. The film tackles the issue of discrimination towards the disabled, especially in competitive sport.
Filmed in both the Philippines and Japan, Gensan Punch stars Shogen (Death Note; Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist), Ronnie Lazaro (Affliction; Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story), Kaho Minami (Dream Street; Hotaru), Beauty Gonzales (The Heiress; Angelito: Batang Ama) and Vince Rillon (3pol Trobol: Huli Ka Balbon!; Ang Probinsyano).
The announcement comes shortly after the debut of On the Job, another HBO Asia Original from the Philippines. Now streaming on HBO GO, the series stars John Arcilla who won the Coppa Volti at the Venice Film Festival on September 11.