Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s new film “Gensan Punch” has bagged the prestigious Kim Jiseok award in the 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), Asia’s largest film festival in South Korea.
The Filipino-Japanese co-production was declared the joint winner of the Kim Jiseok Award for Best Picture (Window of Asian Cinema category) with India’s “The Rapist” in the BIFF, held in Busan, South Korea from October 6 to 15, 2021.
Based on a true story, “Gensan Punch” stars Japanese actor Shogen (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Death Note, Stay) in the lead role of Naozumi Tsuchiyama, a disabled athlete who refuses to let his artificial leg hinder his dream to become a professional boxer.
The HBO Asia Original film follows boxer Tsuyama in his journey from Japan to the Philippines to pursue his dream. It also pays tribute to Filipino boxers from General Santos City in the Philippines, known for its boxing gyms and hometown hero Manny Pacquiao.
The sports drama also stars Filipino actors Ronnie Lazaro and Beauty Gonzales, as well as Japanese actress Kaho Minami in supporting roles.
The film has also been selected to screen at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) with four other Filipino films in October.
Established in 1996, the annual Busan International Film Festival aims to introduce new films and first-time directors, especially from Asian countries. It also attracts a youthful audience through its efforts to develop and promote young talents.
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