Also starring Alvaro Orlando, Steven Bauer and Oscar Torre
Award-winning director Kenneth Castillo, who’s list of straight to video indie films should have a section all its own at the DVD aisles at all retail stores, adds one more title to his cadre of Latino themed films enjoyed by all. His latest CounterPunch, which co-wrote with Alvaro Orlando (who also stars) is set to release January 13, 2013 by Lionsgate. Danny Trejo plays a pivotal role which mirrors his own bout as a boxer.
Shot on location in Miami and Williams Boxing Gym in Long Beach California, Alongside Trejo, CounterPunch stars Alvaro Orlando, Steven Bauer, and Oscar Torre (Hangover III). Based on a trud story, CounterPunch tells of the trials and triumphs of a young bipolar Miami boxer preparing for the fight of his career while battling his inner demons with the help of his crisis counselor played by the iconic Trejo.
Lionsgate acquired the North American release rights for CounterPunch ahead of the American Film Market which saw a record increase in buyers from Latin American markets. Talks on a release for the international audience are underway said Orlando, with additional details to follow.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Miami, CounterPunch gives an rare look into a closed boxing culture. Orlando’s own background as a Golden Gloves boxer and mixed martial arts fighter helped in his struggle to bring the unique story he co-wrote and produced to audiences. “In movie making, as in life, you get knocked down but you’ve got to keep getting back up” says Orlando on bringing his boxing skills and tenacious spirit to the making of CounterPunch.
CounterPunch Castillo and Orlando’s co-writing credit on the film, makes it the second successful pairing of Castillo and Orlando who also worked together in the critically acclaimed Confessions of a Gangster and Drive-By Chronicles: Sidewayz. Confessions of a Gangster showcases Orlando’s acting chops with his memorable role as a red headed transvestite.
Counterpunch features an international cast and crew from Hungary, Cuba, Mexico, Poland and Colombia with multiple languages spoken on set. The melting pot cast and crew of CounterPunch truly is a diverse collaboration of international talent which lent itself to the unique story brought to the screen.
Additional producers are Ivett Havasi from Hungary, and co-producers Beau Turpin and Tommy Kijas.
The cast boasts Alvaro Orlando as Emilio Manrique, Danny Trejo as Manny Navarro, Steven Bauer as Tomas, Oscar Torre (Hangover III) as Uncle Frank, Ivonne Coll as Grandma Daisy, Yeniffer Behrens as mom Lydia Manrique and Camila Banus as romantic lead Talia Portillo. The soundtrack features original music from Nate Mason and composer Carson Aun from True Blood.
CounterPunch’s supporting cast includes the talented Bailey Garcia as young Emilio, Jilon Ghai as Teddy, Hungarian actress Lilla Labanc, Jack Guzman as Sergio, Giovanni Bejarano as Beto, Danny Pardo as Benjamin Portillo, Brent Gutierrez as young Sergio, William Corkery as Young Beto Mauricio Mendoza as Officer Montes, Wes Hager as Jimmy, Sidney Howard in the role of the nurse, Lia Marie Johnson as Lia, Annette Marie Smith as Angela, Carlos Pratts as Chris, Myron McClure as Alonzo, Scott Conley as DJ Braxton McKaela Line as Elise, as well as Tara Shayne, Beau Turpin, Robert Ángel Salazar, Mario E. Garcia, Michael Cash, Julian Cagney, Maia Kahlo, Kevin Strom, Tommy Kijas as Donnie, and is poised to become a classic in the tradition of boxing movies.
Orlando is a Golden Gloves Boxer, and mixed martial arts contender, who carried that discpline and hard training into acting. Orlando first began behind the scenes working in production as a camera operator, sound mixer, and video editor for several networks. Orlando then went to film school for four years to master the art of storytelling until he moved to California where he won VH1’s Pick Up Artist in 2009. Among Orlando’s stand out performances are Ceaser Mendez in the Weinstein Company’s Revenge, to his much buzzed about performance in the 2012 Sundance selection I Am Not A Hipster
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