25 years ago, Kiwi filmmaker Welby Ings made a promise to his dying partner, a young boxer, who had a heartbreakingly complicated relationship with his own father. The author of three internationally acclaimed shorts at 80+ festivals (awarded “Boy”, “Munted”, “Sparrow”) finally accomplished a deeply personal quest with a broadly universal drama about brave rebellious teenagers on decisive intersections of coming-out. It took Welby 14 long years to develop the original screenplay, recalling autobiographical moments, finding the right actors for specific roles and observing the struggles young gay men face in New Zealand which allegedly strongly promotes the inclusion of LGBT rights.
Harsh reality hits them with homophobia, lack of tolerance, hateful bashing, and even hypocrisy in small towns like Tauranga. A 17-year-old promising boxer Jim arduously trains for an upcoming decisive professional fight. He is gifted, strong, determined, coached by strict uncompromising father Stan, who is no longer able to spend a single day without booze. A lucky uplifting encounter with a homeless Māori dreamer and wannabe musician Whetu significantly changes the way of life for the uncertain Jim. The young sportsman aims to discover what it means to grow and live as a gay man (takatāpui) in New Zealand.
A tender love story between a demanding, struggling father and his talented son develops into romantic adventures of two loyal friends. Local newcomers Jordan Oosterhof and Conan Hayes shine in their tremendous debut performances while infamous Oscar-nominee superstar Tim Roth never draws the attention to the centre of the boxing ring and lurks in the shadows as a great supportive coach must do.
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Filmograafia Punch (2022)
Best Film Award, grant of 5000 euros from National Geographic