Hello there! It’s your resident film enthusiast, Kate, here again! Who wants more fan films? We entered a new era in Tomb Raider’s history with Legend, the first game to come from developer Crystal Dynamics after the franchise moved to the US.
Lara once again had a lighter personality, her witty and sometimes disarming one liners performed by English television actress, Keeley Hawes. This would be the first of five games she would portray her character in. Lara’s backstory had been revamped, inspired by the recent films starring Angelina Jolie.
This set up a more personal plot for what would become a trilogy that included Crystal’s own take on the original game entitled “Tomb Raider: Anniversary”.
As there is no dedicated month for this game in the celebrations, you’ll be getting two in one for this month’s fan film feature, as well as next month. To start us off, we have….
“Tomb Raider: Power of Atlantis” (US)
Written and directed by Josh Mason.
Starring Sara Freites as Lara Croft
A new take on the original game as if Lara’s adventure in The Lost Valley took place in the rebooted universe with her friend Jonah Maiava by her side and a bit of the Legend trilogy thrown in too.
After a long and difficult production process during the pandemic, “Power of Atlantis” had it’s world premiere on the 14th of August at Covington Comic Con in Tennessee. It was attended by some of the cast and crew and the film was met with a positive reception.
We meet the characters two years after the events of Mason’s first successful Tomb Raider fan film, “Croft: Legend of the Tomb Raider” which now boasts over 130,000 views on YouTube! Actress, cosplayer and author, Sara Freites reprises her role as Lara Croft and Cory Coffman takes centre stage this time, returning as villain, Alexander Craig.
We are also treated to a lovely opening scene featuring Lord Richard Croft played by John Wood and young Lara played by Jessamyn Romines, a star in the making, I’m sure!
“Tomb Raider: Voice From Beyond” (US)
Written and Directed by Adam Thede
Starring Jennifer Grimes as Amanda Evert and Rama Montakhabi as Lara Croft
Amanda finds herself in a position where she can’t rely on Lara to help her and must put everything she learned from her to use in order to save herself.
We were first introduced to Amanda in a flashback in Legend. We know she worked with Lara and if you’ve played the games, you know what became of her. However, it’s never explained how they met. This film explores that.
Having been a fan of the rebooted games, Thede decided to do his research on previous instalments and was inspired to create his own story by addressing the argument that this version of the character was and remains a positive role model, not just a sex symbol. The way he tackled that was really interesting in that Lara’s character takes a back seat. This is very much Amanda’s story as she learns that she can also be the hero.
Shortly before it’s release last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam and Rama for my blog. Check it out here to learn more and see some exclusive behind the scenes content.
Also, keep an eye out for the sequel “Raiders: Croft vs Jones” coming soon if, like me, you’ve always wanted to see this crossover happen!
“Tomb Raider: The Endless Path” (ITALY)
Written and directed by Daniele Misischia
Starring Marta Peccia as Lara Croft and Susy Suarez as the voice of Lara Croft
Lost in the jungle with no way of contacting the outside world, a weary and jaded Lara begins to contemplate the future and if it’s time to retire. In Legend, we meet Lara in her early 40s so it’s great to see how Lara might become tired of the adventuring lifestyle. A very original idea, nicely executed!
Did everyone enjoy the LAU months? Well, we’re not quite finished celebrating “Tomb Raider: Anniversary” yet! Enjoy our next selection of fan films!
“Tomb Raider” (UK)
Written by Simone Ziel and directed by James Ashley
Starring Rebecca Crossdale as Lara Croft
In 2017, a group of students from a creative arts university in Surrey, coincidentally where Lara herself is from, ventured to Almeria in Spain to shoot an ambitious short for their course. After the original location fell through just the day before the shoot and some drastic last minute changes to the script, the filming took place at the picturesque “Alcazaba de Almeria”. Despite the many setbacks, the team still managed to pull off an impressive looking film that felt very reminiscent of “Tomb Raider II” in parts!
Crossdale, who beat over 40 other actresses for the role, delivered a great performance combining the toughness of classic Lara and the more grounded humanity of reboot Lara!
After the release, I had the chance to interview director James Ashley and his partner in crime Dylan Jones to get more insight into their process. Check it out here where you’ll also find some exclusive behind the scenes stills.
“Tomb Raider: The Journey” (US)
Written, directed by and starring Tatiana Neva
Lara goes in search of an artefact from a story her Father told her as a child.
Tatiana Neva is an actress and martial artist who you may recognise from her work with “Bat in the Sun” - for whom she had portrayed other iconic characters such as Wonder Woman, Black Widow and Catwoman. This time, she took on the role of Lara Croft as well as writer and director for a tribute to “Tomb Raider.” The in-game aspect inspired by the LAU trilogy is fun to watch as is the action! There’s also a nice twist at the end.
“Unknown Entity” (FRANCE)
Written by Kara Inferi and Aoshi Studio and directed by Aoshi Studio Starring Kara Inferi (Luce) as Lara Croft and Lili Din as The Doppelgänger
There’s an explosion at the manor and something else lurks inside… Now we come to Underworld and a fan film inspired by one of most famous parts of the game! I’ve admired Kara and Lili’s work for a long time now and it was a pleasure to see them collaborate on this project! The abandoned hospital that serves as Croft Manor, post explosion, and the camera work create a perfectly creepy atmosphere! The accuracy of the costumes is also fantastic!