HBO Asia Original Film Gensan Punch is ready to step into the ring. Produced and directed by Brillante Ma. Mendoza (Mindanao; Alpha: The Right To Kill), the movie will premiere exclusively on HBO GO on December 16.
Inspired by the true story of Naozumi Tsuchiyama, Gensan Punch is about Nao, a Japanese man with a prosthetic leg who dreams of becoming a professional boxer. While his skills may be undeniable, his condition leads him to fail “physical condition regulations” – rendering him unable to fight professionally.
This leads him on a journey to the Philippines, where the so-called Gensan Quarter of General Santos City has long been renowned for producing athletes including legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao. The film tackles the issue of discrimination towards the disabled, especially in competitive sport.
Gensan Punch recently won the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the 26th Busan International Film Festival held in October. The film was one of two winners of the prestigious award given to films that reflect the contemporary standing of Asian cinema. The film also screened at the “Gala Selection” (Non-Competition) of the recently concluded 34th Tokyo International.
Filmed in English, Japanese and Tagalog, Gensan Punch was filmed in both the Philippines and Japan, and 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 award-winning sports film is created and written by Honee Alipio, produced by Takahiro Yamashita and Krisma Maclang Fajardo and executive produced by Brillante Mendoza, Simon Crowe and Fumie Suzuki Lancaster. Check out the trailer here.