The Dark Horse is a film by James Napier Robertson, starring Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston, Kirk Torrance, Miriama McDowell, and Wayne Hapi. Inspired by Jim Marbrook’s documentary “Dark Horse,” the film is written by James Napier Robertson and produced by Tom Hern. The executive producers are Cliff Curtis and Timothy White. The director of photography is Denson Baker ACS. The film is edited by Peter Roberts, with production design by Kim Sinclair, original score by Dana Lund, and costume design by Kristin Seth.
The Dark Horse won Best Film at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and the 2014 New Zealand Film and TV Awards, and won People’s Choice Audience Awards at the Rotterdam, Seattle and San Francisco Film Festivals. The film also won a special SIGNIS Commendation Award (given to films that “illuminate and celebrate what it means to be human in a diverse and challenging world”).
Based upon a powerful true story, The Dark Horse is the uplifting portrait of a man searching for the courage to lead, despite his struggles with mental illness. The film features a stunning, award-winning performance by Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider, Blow, “Fear the Walking Dead”) as Genesis “Gen” Potini, a brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion who finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.