PULSE, the first feature from writer and actor Daniel Monks and Peth director/DOP Stevie Cruz-Martin, has won the Award Audience Award at the Busan International Film Festival in Korea.
Created in 2013, the award is given to the film that is most highly rated by festival audiences. $10,000 of the US $20,000 prize is awarded to the director with the remaining prize money used to support the distribution of the film in Korea.
PULSE is the story of a gay disabled teenage boy who changes into the body of a beautiful woman so that he can be loved. The film stars Daniel Monks alongside AACTA Award nominee Caroline Brazier (Rake, Terra Nova), Scott Lee (Home & Away), Isaro Kayitesi (Soul Mates) and Sian Ewers (The Great Mint Swindle). The film has also screened at the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Stevie Cruz-Martin and Daniel Monks (who grew up in Perth) have collaborated on several short films which have screened at over 40 film festivals around the world, including three at the prestigious Palm Springs International ShortFest.
Daniel was the 2014 WA Young Filmmaker of Year and began writing Pulse in 2009 while at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.This is a very personal film for Daniel as he has a physical disability and also plays the lead. “The film raises questions such as how much our bodies shape who we are, where is the line between compromising for love and changing yourself to be loved, and why we fall in love with the people we fall in love with,” he said. “It is a parable film for young people, queer people, disabled people; but more than that, for anyone who has ever struggled with their body, their appearance, their sexuality, their desires, and essentially, themselves.”