Based on 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.
After years in and out of mental institutions, Genesis is released into the care of his estranged brother Ariki (Wayne Hapi) and thrust into his volatile gang lifestyle. Seeking to escape this toxic environment, Genesis finds solace by volunteering at the Eastern Knights chess club and sharing his gift with the disadvantaged Maori children of his community. Charismatic and impassioned, Gen encourages the group to train for the upcoming National Chess Championships. But his teaching puts him at odds with his brother when Ariki’s son Mana (James Rolleston) shows an interest in the game – chess is considered a distraction from the teen’s imminent initiation into his father’s gang.
Genesis’s conflict with his brother and the violent gang, along with his ongoing battle with illness, threaten to ruin the hopeful progress Gen has made for himself and the young Eastern Knights. But Genesis’s positivity leads him to always search for light, even when the world seems at its darkest.
THE DARK HORSE Screening: Wednesday, February 10th at 3:00 PM
Broad Green Pictures Screening Room
6555 Barton Ave, 2nd Floor, Hollywood, CA 90038
Cliff Curtis (Genesis Potini) is a successful film and television actor with a varied body of work encompassing a wide range of compelling performances spanning more than two decades.
He currently stars in AMC’s wildly-popular “Fear the Walking Dead.” The show premiered on August 23, 2015, and was the most watched series premiere in cable TV history. Set in Los Angeles, Curtis plays English teacher Travis Manawa, who struggles to keep his family together during the onset of a zombie apocalypse.
In February, Curtis will star in the Sony feature, Risen, the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, opposite Joseph Fiennes.
Cliff Curtis was born in Rotorua, New Zealand and is of Maori descent. He attended the New Zealand Drama School, and then the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland. After returning to New Zealand from Europe, his first ever role was in the Academy Award-winning film, The Piano. Subsequent roles in New Zealand include: the camp melodrama Desperate Remedies; the grueling urban drama Once Were Warriors; and the lighthearted comedy Jubilee.
In Hollywood, Curtis has played an array of diverse roles and ethnicities ranging from a Colombian in Blow opposite Johnny Depp, an Arab in Three Kings opposite George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, and a Latino in Training Day opposite Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Other film credits include: The Insider alongside Al Pacino and Russell Crowe; Runaway Jury alongside John Cusack; Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead; Danny Boyle’s Sunshine; and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. Curtis also played the role of Paikea's father, Porourangi, in Whale Rider.
In 2007, Curtis turned his hand to producing and among his credits are Taika Waititi’s debut feature, the geek comedy Eagle vs Shark starring Jermaine Clement, and later another Waititi feature, Boy, which became the highest-grossing local film in New Zealand history.
On television, Curtis appeared in FOX’s “Gang Related” as Javier Acosta and as FBI Agent Dax Miller on ABC’s “Missing.”
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