Dark Horse

The Dark Horse is an emotionally potent story of redemption anchored by a heart-piercing lead performance from Cliff Curtis.


The Dark Horse

THE DARK HORSE is based on the true story of Genesis ‘Gen’ Potini (Cliff Curtis), a Maori speed-chess champion seeking redemption and a new purpose in life despite his struggles with bipolar disorder. A former chess prodigy, Gen is brilliant and charismatic, bringing unusual, potent energy to a game most often played with quiet reserve. Upon his release from an institution, he is remanded into the custody of his older brother Ariki (Wayne Hapi), the leader of a rough street gang planning the initiation of Gen’s reluctant teenage nephew Mana (James Rolleston). When Gen volunteers to coach the ragtag young members of the Eastern Knights chess club, Mana is inspired by his uncle’s determination to bring hope to the children of the club and turn his troubled life around, while seeing it as a chance to possibly save his own.

THE DARK HORSE also features performances from Kirk Torrance, Miriama McDowell. The film is written and directed by James Napier Robertson, inspired by Jim Marbrook’s documentary “Dark Horse”, produced by Tom Hern. Cinematography by Denson Baker, ACS, Edited by Peter Roberts, Production Design by Kim Sinclair, Original Score by Dana Lund, Costume Design by Kristin Seth.

**Winner Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor New Zealand Film and TV Awards**
**Winner Audience Award Seattle Film Festival**
**Winner Audience Award San Francisco Film Festival**
**Winner Audience Award Rotterdam Film Festival**
**Winner Heartland Film Festival “Truly Moving Picture Award” Award***
**Runner-up Audience Award Palm Springs Film Festival**
James Napier Robertson
Cliff Curtis, James Rollesto, Kirk Torrance Miriama McDowell Xavier Horan, Baz Te Hira, Wayne Hapi
Cath Clarke, Time Out

A former chess prodigy suffers a breakdown, spends years in and out of psychiatric hospitals then finds peace teaching deprived kids how to play chess. Sounds like the recipe for an Oscar-winning Tom Hanks weepy. But this gritty, authentic drama from New Zealand avoids all the usual based-on-an ...

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