Creative connections that transform

2014-15 slate


About the film

Punch is the story of Cass, an alienated young woman working as a stripper who lives in a converted shipping container under the Westway motorway.

The victim of a violent past, Cass dreams of becoming a boxer, eventually plucking up the courage to visit the local boxing gym in a dilapidated church on the Harrow Road where she meets Amir, an exuberant young coach.

Through the course of her training and her developing friendship with Amir, Cass rediscovers her self-worth and eventually finds the courage to face the ghosts of her past. Moving between the contrasting worlds of the boxing gym and the strip club, Punch is a funny, touching story of love, friendship and family set against the colourful urban rhythms of Northwest London.

From the director

The concept for Punch was inspired by two very different experiences in my life: a year spent working as the director of an erotic variety show in a high-rolling West End nightclub; and the subsequent year during which I trained at the legendary All Stars boxing gym in my childhood neighbourhood of Kensal Rise.

I became drawn to the idea of telling a story that switched between these two worlds, both of which have an equally 'iconic' status in popular culture in addition to being widely criticised.

I felt that a classic story of love and personal triumph against adversity in the form of a British boxing film told from a female perspective would be a fresh and exciting proposition to an audience, as well as exploring a number of important themes in today's cultural climate such as gender roles, social stereotypes and the rise of fourth wave feminism.

Punch is also very much a 'love-letter' to this curious corner of Northwest London. I wanted to create a story that brought to life all the things I love most about the area; the idiosyncratic humour of its residents, local slang and raucous street-life, in a celebration of its unique melting-pot cultural history.


Meet the Team

Ruth Ivo and Rachel Wardlow - the team behind Punch

Writer/Director Ruth Ivo


Ruth Ivo is a stage, film and visual director, specialising in immersive, boundary-pushing stage performance and cinematic  urban fairytales.

Her debut film Strip made official selection at the Raindance Film Festival 2014 with her second short Green Grass currently in post-production.

Her varied creative career has included cabaret singer, aerialist, founder and curator of Glastonbury Festival's Trash City& and Resident Director of The Box Soho.

She is currently working on a 'punk' opera The Crocodile God Of Kang Pow premiering in January 2015 and new short film project Nail Bar.

Producer Rachel Wardlow


Rachel began working as a runner on commercials and feature films before joining Ruby Films where she worked across a slate of projects assisting with all aspects of development and production.

She produced her first short film, Inseparable – starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Natalie Press – in 2006 and has since produced a number of short films including award winning Incorporated.

Rachel has also worked extensively in development for companies such as the BBC Films, Film 4 and Working Title. She worked as co-ordinator of the UK Film Council's Development Fund before becoming the Development Executive at Magic Light Pictures, where she developed a slate of feature projects for multi award-winning producers, Martin Pope and Michael Rose.

In 2008 she became the Development Producer for Bigger Pictures before leaving to line-produce BAFTA-nominated feature film, I Am Nasrine Tina Gharavi.

Rachel is now developing a slate of features with emerging talent through her company Ilk Films and Television. She is currently in pre-production on her next short film, Nipple Jesus, based on a Nick Hornby short-story adapted by Writer/Director Jake Lushington.

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