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Fans of the Tolkien trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings" have produced a new film, "The Hunt for Gollum." The culmination of a two-year project by fans and volunteers, the film is to be screened exclusively online at www.Dailymotion.com, the world's largest independent video sharing site, on Sunday May 3rd. The film will have a simultaneous premiere at SCI-FI LONDON, the 8th Annual London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film, with free tickets available to festival goers.
The trailer for "The Hunt for Gollum" is available to view at www.Dailymotion.com/HuntforGollum. This fully-skinned Dailymotion profile page also features interviews with the actors and production team and "behind the scenes" content about the project.
The forty-minute film, conceived, created and funded by fans, was inspired by notes in the appendices from "The Lord of the Rings" books. It follows Aragorn as he sets out to find the creature Gollum and discover the truth about the Ring. The film was written and directed by "Lord of the Rings" fan Chris Bouchard, who gathered a small cast and crew for the project in 2007. Over the past two years the project gained momentum attracting more filmmakers, volunteers and supporters, forming a global team of over a 100 volunteers.
Chris Bouchard, executive producer and director of "The Hunt for Gollum," explains, "I'm a big fan of ToIkien and was inspired by Peter Jackson's films of the trilogy. I love creating films and wanted to really test my creativity to see what I could produce with a minimal budget. The high production values of our film, 'The Hunt for Gollum' would not have been possible without the commitment and resources of experienced prop makers, costume makers, prosthetics and make-up specialists, fight coordinators and special effects artists. The production has been open to everyone for collaboration, and as a result, the passion for this project has drawn together a diverse blend of working professionals, students and youth from every walk of life."
Joy Marcus, General Manager, Dailymotion US adds, "'The Hunt for Gollum' takes the 'fan film' genre to a new level of quality. We are proud to be the exclusive launch partner for this great piece of independent work and to share it with Dailymotion's audience in the US, as well as in Europe."
Louis Savvy, Festival Director of SCI-FI LONDON, continues, "'The Hunt For Gollum' has generated considerable online buzz amongst fans, who will be able to watch the film for free at the festival, an internationally recognized launch pad for genre movies, as well online. Creating this film is an amazing achievement, with enthusiasts from all over the world combining to produce the first Lord of the Rings fan film with high production values that we can showcase in HD."
The film will launch online on Dailymotion.com at 4 pm GMT on Sunday May 3rd, and will be screened simultaneously at SCI-FI LONDON at the Apollo Theatre in London. Dailymotion combines independent film content alongside a mix of official content from partners such as Channel 4 and Universal Music, user-generated content, and moderated content from approved users called "Motionmakers," all curated by Dailymotion's programming team. SCI-FI-LONDON is the UK's leading genre event featuring short films, features, documentaries and world premieres alongside lectures, talks and debates on genre literature, film and TV. Now in its Eighth year, SCI-FI-LONDON runs from April 29-May 4, 2009, screening films at venues around London including The Apollo West End Cinema. Dailymotion is a media partner for SCI-FI LONDON, which will have a full daytime program aimed at the whole family over the UK bank holiday weekend and expects around 4,500 visitors in April and 1000 in October. Further information can be found at www.SCI-FI-LONDON.com and at www.Dailymotion.com/SCI-FI-LONDON.
The Hunt for Gollum is a non-profit film being made for private use, and is not intended for sales of any sort. No money is being made from this film, and no one was paid to make it. It is in no way affiliated with, or sponsored or approved by, Tolkien Enterprises, the heirs or estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., or any of their respective affiliates or licensees. The content is for the private use of the downloader and should not be sold, rented, or used for any commercial enterprise in any way, shape, or form. The creators make no claim to any characters, storylines, prop designs, names, logos, or situations that are trademarked, copyrighted, or otherwise protected by federal, state, international, or other intellectual property law. This work is produced solely for the personal, uncompensated enjoyment of the creators and other Tolkien fans.
A top 50 website worldwide, Dailymotion Network attracts over 47.9 million unique monthly visitors worldwide (source: comScore, February 2009). Every day, over 15,000 new videos are uploaded into Dailymotion's global network of 18 localized video entertainment sites. In January 2009, Dailymotion delivered over 914 million videos to users including curated content from premium and Motionmaker creative contributors. Using the most advanced technology for both users and content creators, Dailymotion provides high-quality and HD video in a fast, easy-to-use website that also automatically filters infringing material notified by content owners. Dailymotion's mission is to provide the best possible entertainment experience for users and the best marketing opportunities for advertisers, while respecting content protection. For more information, please visit www.dailymotion.com.
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SCI-FI-LONDON, now in its 8th year, is UK's only d 00004000 edicated Sci-Fi and Fantasy film festival, it screens world and UK film premieres, documentaries and a selection of classic SF titles. SCI-FI-LONDON also has a strong international shorts programme and screens a short film with every feature screening. It also holds a film school and filmmaking competitions to encourage more science fiction films to be made in the UK - www.sci-fi-london.com
About 'The Hunt for Gollum'
This independent tribute film follows the Heir of Isildur; the "greatest huntsman and traveler in Middle Earth" as he sets off to find the creature Gollum. The creature must be found to discover the truth about the Ring, and to protect the future Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins, from the dark lord of Mordor.
"The Hunt for Gollum" is an unofficial short film produced by a group of enthusiast filmmakers who have collaborated to form a new production company: Independent Online Cinema.
Chris Bouchard - Executive Producer and Director
Chris Bouchard (26) is an indie film-maker with a passion for science fiction and fantasy genre films. He became fascinated by the film-making process while a student at York University, where he joined their film-making society. Being from a musical background (he played the bassoon at school), he started out making film music in 2005 when he collaborated on the popular fan film "Star wars: Revelations," for which he created the original music. Then he turned to directing and in 2007 he made his first low-budget horror film project, "Human Residue."
Bouchard has a great love for "The Lord of the Rings" books, which he first read at the age of eleven. When the film trilogy was released, he was experimenting with micro-budget film-making techniques and was inspired to attempt his own Lord of the Rings-based project. With the ready availability of digital cameras and editing software on home computers, he realized it might be possible to follow his dream and create his own film as a tribute to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He found inspiration in the appendices of the books and adapted the story of Aragorn's Hunt for Gollum into a screenplay. Then he used the Internet to build a team of like-minded fans and film-makers to realize the project, which required considerable locations, crew, cast and special effects. Shooting in the mountains of North Wales, and in Epping Forest, the film was made on his evenings and weekends, and took two years to complete. Bouchard works full time in London as a video engineer, making films in his spare time.
Spencer Duru - Co-Producer
Spencer Duru is an up-and-coming film producer with a background in independent short films and music promos in both production and post production houses. He's a business graduate with an already growing portfolio of film projects, he has his own production company and works for one of the biggest film distribution companies in Britain.
Duru became involved in the project by being a big fan of both Mr Bouchard and his vision for the film and also the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy itself. He has, in the later shoots, tried his hand at first assistant directing and also co-directing, but his main production roles have included publicity, attaining permits, locations and recruiting other crew members. He has also put together a behind the scenes documentary which will be released along with the film.
Duru has almost finished producing a feature film titled "Umbrage," starring Doug Bradley ("Hell Raiser") and looks forward to making more films in 2009. He is very happy to be part of such a talented outfit and intends to keep making films with this promising team.
Brian Lavery - Co-producer
Director and Producer, Brian Lavery's experience spans numerous independent film and theatre projects in practically every type of crew role, although these days he directs his own work. Other recent projects Lavery has worked on range from a documentary on guerrilla gardening to a music video/art installation known as "UnderOver The Clouds," made in collaboration with the music producer Micromattic.
On hearing about "The Hunt for Gollum," Lavery was excited to be part of such an ambitious production with such a low budget, particularly a fan film for a trilogy he loves.
Like all the co-producers on the film, the tasks Brian has undertaken have varied widely. He was involved with co-coordinating the fight team, the prosthetics team, recruitment and has co-directed a shoot with Spencer Duru. He is coordinating the graphic design team as well as overseeing an orc event.
In his day-job, Brian is a researcher for a TV production Company.
Julianne Honey-Mennal - Co-Producer
Julianne Honney-Mennal's experience spans many different disciplines. She began as a writer, actor, then director, treading the boards at Rose Bruford Drama School and the West End before deciding that behind the scenes is more fun after all. In 2005 she became art director and set dresser for photographer partner Richard Paris.
As a hardcore Tolkien fan, Honney-Mennal was very excited to become a part of "The Hunt for Gollum" crew. As co-producer for wardrobe, she is responsible for the fantastic team of designers and costume makers that give the film its realism. She is also acting as script advisor on the project.
Glady San Juan - Co-Producer
Gladys San Juan's multinational film experience began in the United States with various independent film projects on the West Coast. She was a two-time winner of the University of Miami Student Photography Contest and proceeded in working as a visual anthropologist where she worked on research in Havana, Cuba. While in London she completed an MA in Social Anthropology from Goldsmith's College and a Diploma in Film Studies and Screenwriting from Birbeck College. Recently, she has recently worked on productions presented at the BFI National Film Theatre in London Southbank.
San Juan's role in "The Hunt for Gollum" has been in production coordination and management, supervising the crew as well as being an active supervisor of the art department.
The cast of "The Hunt for Gollum"
Strider - Adrian Webster
Descended from the Kings of Numenor, Strider must finally embrace his destiny.
Strider, the lead character in the film, is played by Adrian Webster. He has been around the independent film scene for several years, acting in short films and gradually building on his growing portfolio. Recently he acted in Chris Bouchard's last feature film, "Human Residue."
Webster is also trying his hand at producing on another feature "John Commando." Adrian wrote the screenplay and appears in the lead role. Webster has a part-time job in order to commit himself to the TV and film industry. Working weekends allows him the flexibility to take roles whenever possible and to audition for professional projects.
Webster has also directed and produced a short film called "The Cellar Project."
Gandalf The Grey - Partrick O-Connor
A secretive wizard of the Istari, Gandalf must try to defeat the growing threat from Mordor.
Patrick O'Connor is a character actor with a wide range in both dramatic and comedic roles. In recent years he has taken the lead role in three tours of Max Frisch's "Bluebeard." He played Baron Hardup at the Marlowe Theatre's "Cinderella," Mr. Brownlow in a revival of "Oliver!" with Ron Moody, and toured as Mr Lawrence in "Little Women." Playing Noah, O'Connor had a comic encounter with Edward Woodward as God in "The Mysteries at Canterbury Cathedral."
His film roles include the lead in two shorts: "Morocco" (2008) and "Operative Valet" (2005), and the "King in The Last Word" (2005), screened at the National Film Theatre. O'Connor also enjoys voiceover work and has contributed to educational, animation and dramatic film productions.
Arithir - Arin Aldridge
One of the Dúnedain Rangers who encounters Strider on his hunt for Gollum.
Arin Aldridge has had a variety of film, music and TV roles including the lead role in the short film, "Blinded" and the role of Marcus in Human Residue, produced by Chris Bouchard. He is best known for his role as PC Young in Thames Television's "The Bill."
Aldridge trained at the Jellicoe Theatre, part of Bournemouth & Poole College of Further Education and the Drama Centre, London. He plays guitar and is an accomplished singer.
Arwen Undómiel - Rita Ramnani
Most beloved of the elves, Arwen is the keeper of the Evenstar and Strider's true love.
Rita Ramnani is a talented actress who joins the cast of "The Hunt for Gollum" straight from the feature film "Jack Says," legendary actor Mike Reid's last professional engagement. "Jack Says" also stars Eric Cantona and Rula Lenska and is out on general release.
Recently, Ramnani completed a feature length horror film "Umbrage" where she plays the lead along side horror icon Doug Bradley. Her latest project is reprising her role in "Jack Says" in its prequel "Jack Said" starring Danny Dyer and David O'Hara, which will have it's theatrical release later this year. Ramnani has also just been signed up to appear in Oscar Nominee Alex Rodriguez' directorial debut feature film "The Last Seven."
Gollum Voice / Goblok - Gareth Brough
Vicious half-Orc/half-Troll captain of a band of orcs terrorising the countryside.
Gareth Brough plays a key role in the camera and lighting crew for "The Hunt for Gollum," as well as acting in it. He also contributes to concept art and costume but his most important role in the film is as the great fighting Orc chieftain, Goblok. Capable of incredible impressions and acting he also plays the voice of Gollum.
Brough has worked in the film industry since 2006 and currently works as a freelancer, mainly as a gaffer or a camera assistant.
Visit the website for more trailers, updates and fan reactions at www.thehuntforgollum.com