There are cute, inexpensive fan films, and then there are epic, big-budgeted FAN films. Directed and produced by uber Lord of the Rings super geek Kate Madison, Born of Hope falls into the latter category with its close to $40,000 budget and 400 actors and extras. The full-length feature film (roughly 71 minutes) took about a year to make and is set well before the events of the first three films.

In order to help fund the film, Madison took a unique approach in asking for donations through YouTube, and though we don't have specific dollar amounts, Born of Hope may have set a record for the most amount of money raised through YouTube for an independent fan film. In addition to the donations -- and to show you just how much of a fan this girl is -- Madison also cleared out her entire savings and took on a job as an office temp in order to use the money for the production. The end result is a film that's been highly praised not only by people who worked on the real Lord of the Rings trilogy, but The Times Online also reviewed Born of Hope and gave it four out of five stars. Heck, someone start up a petition right now and get this girl a job on The Hobbit!

The full film is only available to watch on YouTube. We've posted a trailer and the complete film after the jump for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of our friends over at Urlesque. You can learn more about Born of Hope over on its official website. Best fan film ever, or simply the most expensive? You be the judge ...

Director/Producer Kate Madison spent her entire life savings creating Born of Hope

A scattered people, the descendents of storied sea kings of the ancient West, struggle to survive in a lonely wilderness as a dark force relentlessly bends its will toward their destruction. Yet amidst these valiant, desperate people, hope remains. A royal house endures unbroken from father to son.

This hour long original drama is set in the time before the War of the Ring and tells the story of the Dúnedain, the Rangers of the North, before the return of the King. Inspired by only a couple of paragraphs written by Tolkien in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings we follow Arathorn and Gilraen, the parents of Aragorn, from their first meeting through a turbulent time in their people's history.