Another Filipino film has been recognized internationally as the HBO Asia Original film “Gensan Punch” copped the Kim Jiseok Award at the prestigious 26th Busan International Film Festival on Friday.
The Filipino-Japanese film produced and directed by award-winning director Brillante Mendoza beat other nominated films from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Philippines, and Singapore for the highly-coveted award.
The Kim Jiseok Award is given to the most attractive film that reflects the contemporary standing of Asian cinema.
“Incredibly strong story narrated in a documentary style. It is not just a story of a hero's path to victory, but a story of building human relationships,” the Busan jury commented on “Gensan Punch.”
“Okinawa and Gensokyo are two seemingly different worlds, but they are connected by the warmth of people and their beliefs.”
The movie, inspired by the true story of Naozumi Tsuchiyama, 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.
It also opens the issue of discrimination towards the disabled, especially in competitive sports such as boxing.
In English, Japanese and Tagalog, “Gensan Punch” was filmed in both the Philippines and Japan. It stars a mix cast of Filipino and Japanese actors bannered by Shogen, Ronnie Lazaro, Kaho Minami, Beauty Gonzales, and Vince Rillon.
The film, which was created and written by Honee Alipio, and produced by Takahiro Yamashita and Krisma Maclang Fajardo, was screened at the festival’s “A Window on Asian Cinema” section.
It will also be featured in the “Gala Selection” (non-competition) at the upcoming 34th Tokyo International Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Erik Matti’s “On The Job: The Missing 8” was also included in the list of films under the “A Window on Asian Cinema” category (non-competition).
The crime-thriller film had a successful premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, where John Arcilla was named best actor, making him the first-ever Filipino to win the Volpi Cup.