This film is the loving work of a fan of 'Lord of the Rings' who used her life savings to make  a prequel to the trilogy of films brought to life by director Peter Jackson.

Born of Hope was made on the less than handsome budget of £25,000, which is less than the cost of a tea break on some Hollywood productions. However there are some damn good special effects that would suggest a budget well in excess of that £25k.

The film has moments where the budget begins to show but in many ways this film is on par with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and scenes that should by all rights not work, do work. What I am shocked at is the fact that the budget actually works in the film's favour.

Kate Madison, the film's director and producer put her life savings into this production which is based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and there is no doubt she has created something special.

Kate and the rest of the crew have a remarkable story behind the making of this film in which she also stars but what I would like to concentrate on here is the humanity and emotion woven into Born of Hope.

Scenes do at times as I say show the budget and that should spoil the film. But I could not take my eyes from the screen because there is a great story here and a warmth that  Peter Jackson managed to capture in his magnum opus which was packed full of atmosphere and emotion.

Born of Hope is also packed full of atmosphere and emotion but a tenderness is also prevalent here, which was missing in the trilogy and this is to the credit of Kate and her merry band.

The slight inconsistency in acting is down to the magnitude of the task at hand and once Kate gains more experience in directing she will learn how to bring the best from the actors who I am sure are excellent in experienced hands because the performances were good (some were excellent) but the way a few of the less vital scenes occasionally came across may have needed a little more attention but I am nitpicking.

The vital scenes especially performed by Kate were at times a brilliant combination of script and acting all captured very well.


This is not a slamming of Kate or cast, quite the opposite, it is being realistic and I actually love what she has done here because it is a film that you can enjoy outside of the very minor glitches and I look forward to her future productions for there is great talent here beginning to bloom.

There is a very good chance you will be moved to tears in this film as I was, but not only by plot crescendos but by the love put into 'Born of Hope'. When you look at the time and effort put into the wardrobe and costumes for the Orcs alone you cannot help but feel humbled by the dedication involved and some of the dialogue really is top stuff and at times this film can be utterly beautiful.

The film centers around the parents of Aragorn and their struggle with the nasty beasties of middle earth and as a  Lord of the Rings fan I enjoyed the offering that Actors at Work productions have given which I think works as a perfect back-story to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Many will not enjoy this film because £25,000 does not buy you Hollywood but then again I would rather watch this low budget production than many multi million pound productions because there is a great story here that I will not spoil.

You can pick holes in any film but the overall experience was a great one so keep up the good work all involved.

It gets better.

You can watch the whole film for free either at the 'Born of Hope' website or on You Tube and here is a clip. Give these guys your support.

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