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Stunning Harry Potter fan film explores Voldemort's origins

The intriguing past of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wasn't deeply explored in J.K. Rowling's book series. An indie film company set out to fix that.

I'll confess, based on the trailer, "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" looks better to me than "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Watch the 52-second preview, released on Sunday, and you'll find it hard to believe this is a fan-made nonprofit film. The filmmakers, indie production house Tryangle Films, say they were inspired by the sixth book in J.K. Rowling's wizarding series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," and intend their film to answer nagging questions about the infamous Tom Riddle, who (spoiler!) turned into a certain nosy villain.

The filmmakers may be fans, but this trailer doesn't have a "fan-made" feel. It features full special effects and is professional-looking from start to finish.

"What made Tom Riddle become Voldemort?" the filmmakers ask on their site. "What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken. This is the story we want to tell: the rise of the Dark Lord before Harry Potter and his first demise."

The trailer sets up an intriguing premise featuring various Hogwarts house namesakes and a murder, supposedly by a house elf. But with Tom Riddle on the loose, who knows exactly what's involved?

Tryangle Films has a PayPal account set up to accept donations to finish the film.