Directed by Napier Robertson and produced by Tom Hern, The Dark Horse is based on the true story of New Zealand speed-chess champion Genesis Potini, played by Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider). James Rolleston (Boy) co-stars as Genesis. nephew Mana.
Despite a bipolar disorder, Potini turned a group of at-risk youth into budding chess champs. In its Toronto review The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as "an emotionally potent story of redemption anchored by a heart-piercing lead performance from Cliff Curtis.".
Transmission Films will open the film in Australia on November 20.
The full list of Swanz winners: Best Feature Film Script James Napier Robertson . The Dark Horse Best Short Film Script Gregory King . UFO Best Play Aroha Awarau . Luncheon Best Television Comedy Episode Millen Baird