“Jenson Punch,” an upcoming film by famed Filipino director Brilliant Mendoza (“Kinatae,” “Ma ‘Rosa,” “Alpha: The Right to Kill”), is set as an HBO Asia original movie. It will be available on regional streaming service HBO Go in the next few months.
Earlier, the film will have its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival next month, and will be followed by a gala selection outside the competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival in November. In Busan, it is screened in the “Window on Asian Cinema” section and is one of seven Asian films nominated for the Kim Jisiok Award at the festival.
The Japanese and Philippine co-production film is a true-based story of a Japanese man who wants to be a professional boxer with an artificial leg. He took his training at the so-called Genson Quarter in General Santos City, which has long been known for making athletes, including former champion boxer and current presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao.
The film is produced and written by Honey Alipio. It was produced and directed by Mendoza, Takahiro Yamashita and Krisma McLang Fazardo, and executive produced by Mendoza, Simon Crowe and Fumi Suzuki Lancaster. The story is told in English with additional Japanese and Tagalog dialogues.
Filmed in both the Philippines and Japan, “Jensen Punch” stars Shozen (“Death Note,” “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist”), Ronnie Lazaro (“Du Aff B,” “Manila Kingpin: The Assassin’s Creed Story”), Kaho Minami (“Dream Street,” “Hotaru”), Beauty Gonzalez (“The Hairs” “Angelito: Batang Ama”) and Vince Rilon (“3 Pole Trouble: Huli Ka Balban!”, “Ang Probinsiano”).
The film deals with issues of discrimination against people with disabilities, especially in competitive sports.
“It is a pleasure to work with Brilliant and his production team on this amazing project. Jensen Punch is not only the story of boxing, but also the story of overcoming adversity in the most significant way. I sincerely hope it will turn heads in Busan, ”said Magdalen U, WarnerMedia’s content head – Entertainment in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The announcement comes shortly after the launch of another HBO Asia original, “On the Job,” by Eric Matti, another Philippine director. Now streaming on HBO Go, the series stars John Arsila who won the Coppa Volti at the Venice Film Festival on September 11th. Warner Media and HBO Asia are also behind the “ban”, the Thailand-set chiller that appears on Busan’s debut screen sidebar.