Seventeen-year old Jim is a small-town boxing hero who carries the hopes and dreams of his father Stan on his shoulders. His growing relationship with local boy, Whetu, forces him to confront the truth about his sexuality, and choose his own future.
Punch is a contemporary film about love, loyalty and liberation. Jim is a seventeen-year old boxer in a small town. He is a golden boy, preparing for a fight that will elevate him to an early professional status. All bets are on his climb to success. But his father Stan is a demanding coach and a notorious alcoholic.
But Stan has given everything to see his son gain professional status and escape the brutality of his small world. As Jim begins to rethink why he is fighting his life tangles with Whetu, a tough, gay Māori boy who spends his days in an old shack down by the beach. With his mongrel dog Moimoi he cobbles together a fragile glamour and dreams of leaving town to become a musician.
In a world that pretends that being gay is accepted, this film peels back the veneer of tolerance to show just what exists under the surface. Away from the rainbow flags and Pride parades, Jim and Whetu must navigate isolation, hypocrisy, the brutality of small town boxing ... and an anonymous queer bashing that no one will talk about. As Jim stumbles towards discovering what it really is to be a gay man, he is forced to see that strength has little to do with heroism.