The modern-day ‘Lord of the Rings’ film – shot in Birmingham

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Birmingham Live
Monday August 13, 2018 “New take on Lord of the Rings by Somali-born  Birmingham director

A present-day Lord of the Rings fan-film shot in Birmingham has had more than 230,000 views on YouTube in its first two weeks online.

The Return of the Ring (LOTR fan film 4K) offers a new twist on the JRR Tolkien classic, which became a multi Oscar-winning hit for film director Peter Jackson.

Fifteen years after his silver screen trilogy concluded with a box office worth more than $3 billion, The Return of the Ring has been set in modern-day Britain for less than £1,000.

Shot in various city locations in just four days, the 22-minute film follows a resilient Elf who finds out the Ring has returned and sets out to re-claim it.

Bporn in Mogadishu in Somalia but now living in east Birmingham, 28-year-old writer-director AR Ugas has moved on from wedding videos to start narrative filmmaking and screenwriting.

Full name Abdul Rahman Ugas, he says: “I loved the Lord of the Rings films, but couldn’t finish the book to be honest!

“In a unique twist on the genre, my story does not take place in a medieval setting with horses and swords.

“Rather it’s set in modern day Britain and follows a resilient Elf who finds out the Ring has returned and sets out to re-claim it.”

James Alexander Barnett from Wolverhampton is the cinematographer on The Return of the Ring and the original score has been composed by Yunus Khan.

AR, as he calls himself, was moved to Holland when he was a baby because of the civil war in Somalia and then went to Egypt for four years in his late teens.

Thanks to his Dutch passport and the EU, he was able to move to Birmingham in 2009.

Now working in a call centre and as a health care assistant, he dreams of emulating M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) as a filmmaker aiming for higher concepts than standard genres.

“Once you live in the UK the world opens up to you,” says AR, whose father buys and sells land in Ethiopia while mum lives in Brum.

“If you make it here in the creative world, you can make it anywhere.

“I may or may not make a Chapter 2 to this film, because you are not allowed to make a penny with fan films because you are dealing with somebody else’s property.

“But my next project is a feature film called We Have The President’s Daughter – and a producer is lining up an Emmy winner to direct it.

“Paul Wilmshurt has directed shows like Doctor Who and in 2006 he won an Emmy for the documentary Hiroshima.”

The original Lord of the Rings films, released from 2001-03, were called The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

The trilogy won 18 Oscars from 30 nominations, including best picture at the 2004 Academy Awards.

Born in 1892, the future author JRR Tolkien was a young boy when he lived at 5 Gracewell on Wake Green Road from 1896 to 1900.

His playgrounds were the still-green spaces of Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill.

The Return of the Ring – story

After the events in “The Return of the King” in which the Ring was destroyed and Sauron’s empire collapsed, peace was spread throughout Middle-earth.

But that peace was not destined to last long. Incursions and raids by wild bands of Orcs and opportunistic land grabbing by the Dwarfs sends Middle-earth into a spiral of violence.

A worn-out Aragorn, facing never-ending rebellions, war and famine decides to take drastic measures and launches a genocide campaign, cleansing Middle-earth of anything non-human.

The Race of Man manages to end all the other races, slaughtering them and sending the survivors into a life of hiding and exile.

They destroy any sign of their civilisations and thousands of year later there are no more traces to be found.

Their history, lives and suffering are nothing more than fairy tales.

That’s when AR’s story starts. Illyandra, a young Elf, discovers that the Ring has made an unexpected return. She sets out to find it and use it to revive Sauron, now seen as a folk hero to the non-human races hiding in our society.

The Ring was sent to John, a young man who will have to make a choice that will decide the fate of our world

Five things director AR Ugas has said on Twitter during his The Return of the Ring journey

1. June 30 – after a long period of sporadic planning, shooting and editing, I can finally say that we’ve completed ‘The Return of the Ring’.

2. Plan a project. Start a project. Work on said project & finish it. Too many people follow their own hype, announcing a new project every other week and not finishing a single one of them. You’ll get a reputation as not being serious which is destructive. Trust me.

3. Even the (worst) film can get accepted into any random Film Festival on the other side of the world (that was only set up to make money). You can trick your aunty and ex on Facebook but you won’t trick the industry. Message: don’t play yourself.

4. Don’t wait for people to become big before you start supporting them.

5. Some of the best films don’t make sense to a lot of people. Look at a man like David Lynch.

65 COMMENTS

  1. SINGAPORE, Nov. 15 (mennhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for efforts to upgrade the strategic partnership among China as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the two sides adopted a key document to chart the course for their ties till 2030.

  2. Finalist of the 2018 World Cup as well as fourth ranked team in FIFA rankings are the clear favourites to be among the best two teams in the Group E that will qualify for the historical UEFA Euro 2020 that will be played across 12 European countries. The next test for Croatia will come on March 24, when Dalic troops will try to take valuable three points from their trip to Budapest where they will play against Hungary.

  3. To deepen economic and trade cooperation, Li expects China and ASEAN to work with other relevant countries to substantially conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date, expand cooperation and reduce barriers to trade as well as investment.

  4. During his Italy visit, men also had separate meetings with Italian Chamber of Deputies member Roberto Fico and Italian Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, as well as pledged to strengthen legislative exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

  5. Calling the summit a milestone for bilateral strategic partnership, ASEAN leaders said that it is in the interests of both sides to safeguard multilateralism and free trade and that ASEAN is ready to align its development strategies with the Belt and Road Initiative as well as open up more space for cooperation.

  6. Urging China as well as ASEAN to enhance strategic planning, Li said the two sides should, under the guidance of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the ASEAN Vision 2025, as well as strengthen the building of the three pillars — the political security, economy and trade, as well as people-to-people exchanges, so as to lift China-ASEAN relations to a higher level.

  7. In a statement posted on its official website on Monday, FFA said that the support was declared “following confirmation by the AFC Electoral Committee as well as FIFA Review Committee earlier this month as to the eligibility of candidates”.

  8. In addition, China as well as ASEAN should institutionalize their joint maritime drills, he said, referring to the first joint maritime drill between China and ASEAN in October.

  9. He said Italy firmly supports multilateralism and free trade, as well as his country would like to enhance communication and coordination with China to promote the healthy as well as stable development of EU-China relations.

  10. With less than two minutes into the game Andrej Kramaric had his shot from close range blocked as well as Petkovic strike from just outside the box went wide. Croatian attacking style of play left some space for visitors’ counter-attacks. Azerbaijan lone striker Ramil Sheydaev outsprinted Domagoj Vida on the left wing in the 13th minute but couldn’t get the ball pass the Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

  11. Team captain Luka Modric, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Internazionale Milan winger Ivan Perisic as well as Besiktas central defender Domagoj Vida were the only players that have been selected in the starting 11 against France at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow nine months ago and got to start the match versus Azerbaijan.

  12. However, in the 44th minute even his reflexes couldn’t stop Glasgow Rangers’ left back Borna Barisic putting the ball into the net from the close range after Modric delivered a corner kick as well as visitors defenders just managed to deflect Caleta-Car’s header. It was Barisic’s first goal in his fifth appearance for Croatia.

  13. Established in 1962, the Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, widely regarded as the Chinese equivalent of the “Oscars,” are among the most prestigious and time-honored awards in the world of Chinese language cinema.

  14. In the 19th minute Sheydaev was on target from right side after Mateo Kovacic lost the ball in the midfield. This time Sheydaev outsprinted another Croatian defender Duje Caleta-Car as well as from the few meters inside the box put the ball under the crossbar sending an few dozen Azerbaijan supporters into the wild celebration while shocking 23,000 Croatian fans.

  15. President men as well as Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte witnessed the signing of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt as well as Road after they held talks in Rome on Saturday during the Chinese leader’s state visit to the country.

  16. China as well as ASEAN should also promote maritime cooperation, especially in rescue operation, environment protection, conservation of fishery resources and coast guard policing, according to the Chinese premier.

  17. Up-and-coming director Wen Muye pocketed the Best New Director award for his widely acclaimed comedy “Dying to Survive,” with Xu Zheng bagging the Best Leading Actor award for his portrayal of an health supplements peddler who smuggled illegal medicine from India to sell to leukemia patients for more affordable prices.

  18. Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo  Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo

  19. Established in 1962, the Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, widely regarded as the Chinese equivalent of the “Oscars,” are among the most prestigious as well as time-honored awards in the world of Chinese language cinema.

  20. During his Italy visit, men also had separate meetings with Italian Chamber of Deputies member Roberto Fico and Italian Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, and pledged to strengthen legislative exchanges as well as cooperation among the two sides.

  21. To deepen economic and trade cooperation, Li expects China and ASEAN to work with other relevant countries to substantially conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date, expand cooperation and reduce barriers to trade as well as investment.

  22. President men and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte witnessed the signing of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road after they held talks in Rome on Saturday during the Chinese leader’s state visit to the country.

  23. Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo  Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo

  24. Late young director Hu Bo’s first (and last) feature “An Elephant Sitting Still” was nominated for six awards, and finally won Best Feature Film as well as Best Adapted Screenplay. Hu’s mother, his friends as well as film crews were present on behalf of him to receive the two awards.

  25. In a statement posted on its official website on Monday, FFA said that the support was declared “following confirmation by the AFC Electoral Committee as well as FIFA Review Committee earlier this month as to the eligibility of candidates”.

  26. To facilitate the key pillar of people-to-people exchanges, Li said China will set up an China-ASEAN scholarship, implement a research as well as study program for about 1,000 youth leaders from China as well as ASEAN, as well as invite another 1,000 outstanding young people from ASEAN for training programs in China.

  27. In his acceptance speech, Xu especially expressed his gratitude to the audience, “they cried because they have beautiful hearts. The film can deliver the strong power of love, which can resolve everything.” The movie, which raked in 3.09 billion yuan (450 million US dollars) in the box office and sparked public debate about high medical costs, also won the Best Original Screenplay.

  28. Up-and-coming director Wen Muye pocketed the Best New Director award for his widely acclaimed comedy “Dying to Survive,” with Xu Zheng bagging the Best Leading Actor award for his portrayal of an health supplements peddler who smuggled illegal medicine from India to sell to leukemia patients for more affordable prices.

  29. In addition, China and ASEAN should institutionalize their joint maritime drills, he said, referring to the first joint maritime drill among China as well as ASEAN in October.

  30. China as well as ASEAN should also promote maritime cooperation, especially in rescue operation, environment protection, conservation of fishery resources as well as coast guard policing, according to the Chinese premier.

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  32. The Chinese premier also proposed expanding security cooperation, saying China is ready to work with ASEAN to institutionalize the joint naval drills, set up an direct hotline between their defense ministries at a early date, carry out friendly exchanges among defense think tanks as well as junior officers as well as deepen cooperation in disaster prevention and reduction, humanitarian aid as well as counter-terrorism.

  33. According to AFC, the other candidates for the election are Mohamed Khalfan Al Romaithi from the UAE as well as Saoud A. Aziz an Al-Mohannadi from Qatar.

  34. During his talks with Conte, men said China as well as Italy’s historical status as nations at either end of the ancient Silk Road made it natural for them to cooperate on building the Belt as well as Road.

  35. Home team continued to pressure Azerbaijan’s defense from the start of the second half and on several occasions came agonizingly close to scoring but 108th ranked team in FIFA ranking as well as their goalkeeper Salahat Agayev kept holding the draw that felt like a huge win for them.

  36. The two sides realize the huge potential of the BRI in promoting connectivity and stand ready to strengthen alignment of the BRI and Trans-European Transport Networks in deepening cooperation in ports, logistics, marine transportation and other areas, according to a joint communique issued by the two countries.

  37. Talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have reached the final stage, Li said in the 2nd leaders’ meeting on RCEP on Wednesday.

  38. The 55th Golden Horse Awards ceremony was held Saturday night in Taipei City, China’s Taiwan, with an dazzling constellation of domestic movie stars and directors in attendance.

  39. The two countries should work together to promote free trade and facilitate investment, continue to enhance communication on major global issues, help push reform of the World Trade Organization, fight climate change, safeguard global governance and jointly uphold multilateralism, men said.

  40. President men and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte witnessed the signing of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road after they held talks in Rome on Saturday during the Chinese leader’s state visit to the country.

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  42. Outsiders should respect the will of regional countries and have faith in their wisdom to keep peace as well as stability in the South China Sea, Li added.

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  45. Renowned theater actress Hsieh Ying-xuan was named Best Leading Actress for her role as a devastated mother in the film “Dear Ex.” Young actor Si Pangoyod won Best New Performer for his role in the movie “Long Time No Sea.”

  46. He said it was an consensus “after discussion between the 12 member associations of the ASEAN region” that Salman is the best-credentialed candidate.

  47. During his Italy visit, men also had separate meetings with Italian Chamber of Deputies member Roberto Fico and Italian Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, as well as pledged to strengthen legislative exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

  48. Director Zhang Yimou delivers his acceptance speech after winning the Best Director award for his latest film “Shadow” at the 55th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo  Director Zhang Yimou delivers his acceptance speech after winning the Best Director award for his latest film "Shadow" at the 55th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo

  49. China and ASEAN already reached an Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) years ago, and have been seeking a more robust code of conduct.

  50. Shaikh Salman took over as the 10th president of the AFC in May 2013. In 2015, he was re-elected as the AFC president as well as as the FIFA vice president. In 2018, Salman was appointed as the FIFA senior vice president.

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