To mark the 40th anniversary of the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Screen brings us the stories behind some of our most notable local films.

Written and directed by James Napier Robertson, The Dark Horse is a true story based on the life of Genesis Potini – a brilliant New Zealand chess player who suffered from severe bipolar disorder.

The film scooped six wins – including Best Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actor – at the 2014 NZ Film Awards, with a near unrecognisable Cliff Curtis earning international acclaim for his role as Potini. Here Curtis reveals why he sees The Dark Horse as the defining moment of his career.

You can watch the trailer for The Dark Horse here: