An inspirational film, which is also a life affirming true story, opens today. DARK HORSE: THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF DREAM ALLIANCE won the Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
DARK HORSE tells the larger than life true story of how a barmaid in a former mining village in South Wales bred a racehorse, Dream Alliance, on her allotment that went on to become a champion. Jan had successfully bred dogs and birds and believed she could do the same with a different animal – though she knew nothing about racing and had never been on a horse. Convincing a handful of locals to part with £10 a week for her scheme, she found a thoroughbred mare with a terrible racing record for £300, a stallion past his best, put them together and – against all the odds – bred a winner.
It’s an audacious tale of luck and chance and beating the odds; a story of how a gaggle of working class folk from the Welsh Valleys took on the racing elite, broke through class and financial barriers, and brought hope and pride back to their depressed community.
Directed by Louise Osmond, the film will be released in the UK and Ireland on 17 April 2015 through Picturehouse Entertainment. The film is co-financed by Film4, the BFI Film Fund and The Film Agency for Wales.
DARK HORSE is Osmond’s fifth theatrical documentary with her first being the award winning Deep Water in 2006. She is joined by producer Judith Dawson, director of photography Benjamin Kracun (For Those in Peril) and editor Joby Gee (For No Good Reason). Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.
Running time: 86 mins
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“With its sheer warmth and likability, this good-natured documentary won my heart – a real-life The Full Monty or Billy Elliot or Pride.”
Rupert Hawksley, The Telegraph
“Dark Horse is a shuddering, but delicately handled, exploration of that most basic human desire: to leave a mark and to forge a legacy. The people of Cefn Fforest can rest assured – their story will not easily be forgotten.”