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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2015 - 17.26 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2015

Once a chess-champion, Genesis has spent last years in mental institutions. On the condition that a relative takes care of him, Gen is released into the home of his gang-member brother Ariki and Ariki’s son Mana. Not long after Gen joins a chess club full of youth. At his first meeting he announces that he’ll lead them to the National Chess championship. As Gen and the club quest towards the tournament, Ariki kicks him out onto the streets after Mana shows an interest in the chess club, a distraction that could jeopardise his patching into the gang. Despite promising that he’ll stay away from Mana, Gen succumbs to his pleas to teach him chess and invites him into the club, as long as it stays their secret, but Ariki finds out all and pulls Mana from the club, and soon the other parents do the same. Gen will try his best to keep hope for himself and the kids alive. From a true story.

Original Title THE DARK HORSE
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +18
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 124'
Production Year 2014
Nationality New Zealand
Directed by James Napier Robertson
Screenplay James Napier Robertson
Director of photography Denson Baker
Editor Peter Roberts
Production Design Kim Sinclair
Costume Design Kristin Seth
Sound Nick Buckton
Music Dana Lund
Main cast Cliff Curtis (Genesis)
James Rolleston (Mana)
Kirk Torrance (Noble)
Xavier Horan (Jedi)
Miriama McDowell (Sandy)
Baz Te Hira (Mutt)
Produced by Tom Hern

Dark-Horse OKJames Napier Robertson
Born 1982, Wellington (New Zealand). He began his career as an actor on stage in various Shakespeare productions, before playing in several TV series. Then he turned to directing: in 2009 he directed, wrote and edited his first feature film, I’M NOT HARRY JENSON. THE DARK HORSE is his second feature film as a director, and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014.

Director’s statement
“I was drawn to the complexities of Genesis, the polarities and societal misconceptions around him; an outcast who could inspire or intimidate, his mental illness making him a pariah with some… his intelligence, gift with chess and eccentric charisma making him a teacher to others, particularly those who also found themselves on the outskirts of normal society”.

Four Knights Film
22 North Piha Rd, Piha, RD2, New Lynn, Auckland 0772 - New Zealand
phone +64272441091
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world sales
festival contact
Séville International
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italian distribution
Koch Media
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phone +39 02 5737420
fax +39 02 57374219