Production has commenced in Auckland for Punch, a new local feature film starring British actor and Oscar-nominee Tim Roth (The Hateful Eight, Rob Roy, Pulp Fiction, Tin Star), alongside local actors Jordan Oosterhof (Cul de Sac) and Toi Whakaari graduate Conan Hayes. The film will be shot in the Auckland region, with a general release planned for late 2021.
Welby Ings, whose award-winning short films have screened at more than 80 international film festivals, is writer and director for the project. In development for fourteen years, Punch is a contemporary love story about loyalty and redemption.
The story follows gay adolescent boxer and small-town golden boy Jim (Jordan Oosterhof) on his journey to self-discovery and manhood. Tim Roth plays the role of Stan, Jim’s demanding coach and alcoholic father, and Conan Hayes takes on the part of Whetu, a young takatāpui Māori musician.
Writer and director Welby Ings commented, “This story is very close to my heart, and I’m thrilled to be bringing it to life. It’s great to be heading into production, and I’m excited to be collaborating with the extraordinarily talented Tim Roth. It’s wonderful to welcome him to a film set in Aotearoa.”
Punch is produced by Robin Murphy (Lowdown Dirty Criminals) for Robin Murphy Productions and Catherine Fitzgerald (The Orator, Bellbird) of Blueskin Films.
The film will be made with investment by The New Zealand Film Commission, NZ Screen Production Grant, Prospect Films and Images and Sound. Punch will be distributed by Vendetta Films in New Zealand and Australia.