Brillante Mendoza’s Gensan Punch scores Kim Jiseok Prize in Busan Film Fest

Brillante Mendoza  Busan Film Fest
“Gensan Punch” shares the Kim Jiseok award for best picture with India’s “The Rapist” in the 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). Photo from SC Films International via FDCP.

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.

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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.

“Gensan Punch” had its world premiere in Busan along with another HBO Asia Original “On The Job: The Missing 8” by Erik Matti starring Venice International Film Festival’s Best Actor John Arcilla.

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.

Actress Maja Salvador gave Philippine cinema its first award at the 2019 BIFF, while Filipino films “John Denver Trending” and “Basurero” competed in previous editions of the Korean festival.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to award-winning 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 and WATCH the trailer here!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.