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13 Harry Potter fan films, ranked

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2018

The flagship Harry Potter feature films officially ended their 10-year run in 2011 with David Yates' The Deathly Hallows Part 2, and the world is still mourning the passing of an era.

Sure, the Potterverse has been resurrected when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them exhibited some of the old magic in 2016, but it's not quite the same as seeing the original cast delivering spells against the Dark Lord and encountering paranormal dangers.

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Expanding upon J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter legacy is the vibrant fan film community, where amateur filmmakers 'round the globe are making their mark by expressing themselves in a variety of spellbinding shorts sure to please Mudbloods, Squibs, and Wizards.

These entertaining mini-movies set within the realm of Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft and its surrounding environments exhibit a tremendous amount of imagination and ingenuity while operating on micro-budgets. What they might lack in technical artistry or lavish sets, they more than make up for in heart and hard work.

Raise a wand for 13 electrifying, unofficial Harry Potter fan films in SYFY WIRE's ranking below, then tell us which ones cast a spell of enchantment over you.

Witchcraft: A Harry Potter Fan Film (2013)

Not every fan film has access to high-end digital cameras and a few extra bucks to spend on lighting and CGI software, but that doesn't mean you still can't go make a little movie with your friends and still have a blast. In this worthy effort shot at a ski resort, a young Auror in training becomes obsessed with Horcruxes and must rely on her best friend to defend a magic manuscript and the seductive lure of Dark Magic.

The Wand (2015)

Beware of wands won over the internet!  SpinderManFilms creates a tense atmosphere in this little gem, wherein a girl has a bizarre dream about a magical wand and a trio of Death Eaters bent on destroying her in her suburban home.  This is what you get when you fall asleep watching Harry Potter movies on your laptop.  Love the panoramic overhead drone shots!

Harrey Podder: Say the Magic Word (2011)

Here's a cute animated short from Stodoe Studios that imagines what might happen in the Harry Potter realm if the budding wizards' spells backfired on them.  It's written, directed, and animated by David Stodolny and our only complaint is that it isn't longer!  There haven't been enough playful variations of the Harry Potter clan and this Looney Toons-like confection captures the weird fun. Watch what happens when good incantations go bad!

The Elder Thieves (2016)

Check out this spartan production directed by Jackson Stofka showing a lot of love for Harry Potter as two brothers steal The Elder Wand and must fend off a Death Eater who wants it back. This magical stick is one of the Deathly Hallows and the most powerful wand in the history of wizardkind.  Purists might have something to say about the specific rules of the wand and its owners but the special effects are breathtaking to behold.

Harry Potter vs Star Wars (2015)

Every great fan film ranking has to include an epic mashup trailer marrying two historic franchises and for this collection, Michael Fordude's Harry Potter vs Star Wars is the one.  Stitching together an awesome assembly of clips and cuts from the entire Star Wars saga and inserting the heroes and villains of the Potterverse might seem like a mismatch but check it out and you'll see how it's a glorious match made in geek heaven.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald: The Greater Good (2013)

This exciting and sad offering is based on a tale told in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, telling the origin story of the tragic relationship between Albus Dumbledore, his brother Aberforth, and Gellert Grindelwald. Broad Strokes crafts an engaging look at the deadly duel between the young wizards that ends in the death of Arya, Dumbledore's sister.  There's some solid acting on display here and the fresh beachfront setting adds a nice touch as the sparks start to fly!

The Day Muggles Found Out (2016)

Merlin's Beard, this is an enjoyable short!  Two wizard roommates experimenting with recreational drugs expose themselves to the non-magical community. An imaginative script, a keen eye for cinematography, and an excellent array of interwoven special effects give this fan film an added level of sheen. Shot by 22-year-old Italian director Giulio Fiore over the course of two days. Shows a level of sophistication and style most Harry Potter faithful will love and admire.

Harry Potter Cyberpunk Adventure: The 1980s Anime (2014)

Ever wonder what Harry Potter would be like as an awesome '80s-style cyberpunk anime?  This brief but badass example by Shamoozal is a sheer shot of adrenaline to your senses and will make you wish this were a real thing. Toss out that pumpkin juice and jack into the trippy alt-universe of Neo-Hogwarts amid the neon gleam of cyberwizards and future cityscapes.

Mischief Managed (2017)

Foregone Films delivered this impressive Marauders-set fan film that spotlights the early world of James, Lily, and their friends at Hogwarts.  It shines a captivating light on the blooming romance of Lily Evans and James Potter and the complicated relationships between Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape. Filmed by a crew of students on location at Oxford University and set on Valentine's Day 1978, it's perfectly true to the tone and spirit of the Harry Potter franchise in every way.

Life After Fred (2016)

There's something rather poignant and haunting about this sad short and it stems from the incredible bond shared by the Weasley twins, Fred and George, throughout the books and movies.  This fan film created by Brian T. Ulrich and Julianna Ulrich chronicles a day in the life of George Weasley after the loss of Fred during the battle of Hogwarts. Effective use of camerawork, editing, and special effects brings a melancholy moment to reflect upon as it's apparent the wound of the loss is still fresh.

Battle of Hogwarts (2012)

Witness the grandeur and the glory of this epic short that depicts the final confrontation in 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 between the Hogwarts forces and Voldemort and his Death Eaters.  Shot at an authentic stone castle and exhibiting some primo visual effects, Battle of Hogwarts salutes some of the minor peripheral characters in the saga who were also affected by the flurry of death spells and crackling wand duels.  Extra points for the beautiful scene choices of lush English woods and yellow-flowered fields.

Severus Snape and the Marauders (2016)

Here's another Broad Strokes fan film, and this one had us hooked from the first atmospheric scene in a darkened tavern. Their stellar 25-minute short is centered around the complex feud that developed between the Snape and Potter families.  Its subject matter delves into the Marauders, the group comprised of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew before Harry was born, and their tormenting of Severus Snape. The acting, cinematography, editing, and script are all spot-on and extremely professional.  Grab yourself a mug of Butterbeer and hunker down for some engaging Potterverse perfection.  3.5 million views on YouTube says it all.  Congratulations to writer/director Justin Zagri!

Voldemort: Origins of the Heir (2018)

The wrapper is barely off this phenomenal Harry Potter fan film as it was just released on Saturday, January 13 after a feverish buildup of anticipation following its tantalizing trailers.  Written and directed by Gianmaria Pezzato, it showcases Tom Riddle’s calculated rise to power and the homicide of heiress Hepzibah Smith. Riddle’s ascension and transformation into the Dark Lord is dealt with using elaborate special effects and a talented cast and crew.  Set aside some time for this 52-minute masterpiece and learn how Grisha McLaggen, heir of Gryffindor, tries to halt his progression into the insidious  Lord Voldemort. Bravo!