Welcome to the Top Ten Fan Films of 2016!
Just like how the major film productions get top ten film lists from critics and fans alike, I feel it is only right that fan films get the same attention. This is the first time I have created a Fan Film Top Ten and wanted to do it as I felt it was a great way to bring attention to some of my favorites. The films that fans are putting out are getting better and better every year, so I look forward to creating a top ten fan film list on an annual basis.
So what are the rules for entry into my Top Ten Fan Films of 2016?
- Must be designated as a Fan Film or Short Film
- Must have a published date of 2016. I can only determine this by looking at the published date on YouTube or other video sites that the film is found on.
- The film must not be a trailer, but an actual film or episode in a series.
So that’s it. Again, these are films that I enjoyed the most and want to share. There are plenty of other great fan films that did not make it into my Top Ten. Please feel free to share your favorites or comments in the comments section below.
So without further ado, below are my Top Ten Fan Films of 2016
10. Star Wars Episode IV: A Toy Story
This film distributed by PixelPlex LLC, which was winner for Best Animation at the 2016 Fan Film Awards tells the story of a Star Wars fanatic who decides to sell his Star Wars toy collection to please his overbearing girlfriend. The film was written, directed and produced by Raymond Montemayor and he tells a fun story that uses plenty of famous quotes from the Star Wars: A New Hope film. The animation with the action figures is very impressive and I could not help but crack a smile at the films ending. Truly a fun watch and I look forward to plenty more from Raymond Montemayor and company.
9. Cable: Chronicles of Hope
“Cable: Chronicles of Hope” was shot in only 2 days and what a great job they did. Written, directed, and produced by George and Harry Kirby, the film follows Cable and Hope as they return from the future to the present time. It’s a good story and the two actors (Solvi Fannar and Christine Lynn) do a fine job as the time traveling characters, however it is Grant Stevens as Nightcrawler who steals the show. The special effects for when he teleports away were very well done and in general the action is well delivered. The film was distributed through K&K Productions and hopefully we can see further adventures of these fellow mutants.
8. Jakku: First Wave
This fan film by Benjamin Eck is a story that focuses on three stormtroopers about to land for battle on Jakku. It’s something different here as each stormtrooper delivers a reason as to why they are fighting, which provides an interesting take on those fighting for the Empire, which we really don’t see a lot of. It’s short, simple, and purely enjoyable. The buildup of the music towards the end along with the screaming sirens is dramatic and fantastic.
7. Han Solo: A Smugglers Trade
Jamie Costa’s fan film “Han Solo: A Smugglers Trade” does a great job in bringing back our favorite space smuggler to film. It’s amazing how close Jamie captures some of the wit and facial expressions to that of Han Solo. The film is nothing over the top in special effects, but delivers the fun fans should expect from the character and his “walking carpet” in a story that takes place before Star Wars IV: A New Hope. It is a very impressive effort and would not mind seeing Jamie portray Han Solo again, in another film.
6. Star Wars: The Sable Corsair
Winner of the 2016 Audience Choice Star Wars Fan Film Award, Jeffrey Henderson and Nick Finch’s film “Star Wars: The Sable Corsair” is a film about a crew of a smuggler ship that fights for survival on a mysterious planet. The banter between the crew is well done and entertaining and the costume design is great! All this leads to a rewarding payoff in the end. It would be great to see and learn a bit more about this crew in more adventures.
5. TK-436 A Stormtroopers Story
This film, directed by Samtubia & Samgoma Edwards and produced by Unboxed Films, is a tale of an imperial Stormtrooper who is forced to confront his past in the heat of an epic battle. The film takes place during the original trilogy and there is a gritty, somber tone throughout the film with the music and color as we follow the trooper’s progression from a young boy in love to a soldier fighting for the Empire. Great stuff and I can see why it won the Filmmaker Select Award from Star Wars Celebration.
Kara is a Whitelist Production written and directed by Joe Sill that is emotional and intense within a short 7 minute timeframe. Marcus is trying to get his daughter to a nearby rebel base when they are soon caught in the middle of an aerial battle between the Rebels and Empire. What occurs next is the revealing of the secret Kara is carrying within her. By the end, with minimal dialog, Andra Nechita (Kara) delivers an emotional performance and the relationship between her and her father becomes something special. Kara is truly an unforgettable fan film and with a character that should absolutely be seen again.
3. Wonder Woman vs Wolverine
This year the team at Bat in the Sun and the Super Power Beat Down series delivered a battle of the ages with Wonder Woman vs Wolverine. At first glance, I scoffed, “Wonder Woman is almost like Superman, she will pound Wolverine to a bloody pulp!” But then thinking about it I remembered that Wonder Woman is vulnerable to sharp objects. Yikes! There lies the reason for the battle. Can our Canadian mutant with the claws outlast the Amazon Warrior long enough to win? I will say that the team here pretty much played into the strengths and weaknesses of the characters to a tee and delivered their finest battle to date. The fighting is tight and intense as I can almost feel every blow and the outcome is just what I expected. Both actors (Jonathan Carroll as Wolverine and Tatiana DeKhtyar as Wonder Woman) did an amazing job portraying these fierce heroes in battle. They delivered their blows and lines with passion during the battle and it was fun to watch. The focus of the series is finding a place and reason for two super powered beings to do battle and I don’t think anyone does it better than the team at Bat in the Sun. By the end I stood up in front of my computer and clapped, “Well done, Bat in Sun. Well done.” (jump to the 4:10 mark if you want to skip the intro and get right to the Beat Down).
2. Hoshino (A Star Wars Fan Film)
Producer and director Stephan Vitale did not disappoint with this great entry in Star Wars Fan Film. His fan film, Hoshino, is a must see! The film stars Anna Akana (Ant-Man) who does a wonderful job as Ko Hoshino, who in the process of building her lightsaber, revisits memories of her training with her Jedi Master, Jaan-Xu (Tim McKernan). The film is wonderfully bound with a solid score and impressive sound and special effects. However, it is the story, written by Eric Carrasco, which is the standout here as we learn how Hoshino has grown from an impatient and naïve Padawan to a respectable Jedi Master. It is a great film and great character and I would absolutely love to see more of Ko Hoshino in more stories or film.
1. Darth Maul: Apprentice – A Star Wars Fan Film
When writer, director, and producer Shawn Bu released this fan film, the world shook with excitement! The team at T7 Productions felt Darth Maul should have had more screen time than given in Phantom Menace so they created a film just for him with some incredible lightsaber battles. For two years they worked on the film and the end result is nothing less than amazing. In short, the choreography by Vi-Dan Tran is tight and intense, the soundtrack is perfectly set and the costumes are excellent. Let’s not forget Ben Schamma’s awesome portrayal of the Sith apprentice as being quite . . . Menacing. This fan film is so good they should have found a way to include it in the canon. It’s my favorite for 2016 and one of my favorite fan films overall.