The SFFN will dedicate the month of April to Ren: The Girl With The Mark,  the hottest fantasy series on the internet. We start from the very beginning, so sit back, relax and meet Ren.

The latest unmissable fantasy series vying for the Game of Thrones audience is not the product of a vast US TV network, Hollywood studio or VOD streaming service. Ren: The Girl with the Mark is a brand new short-form series financed through Kickstarter and created by a committed team of experienced industry professionals and enthusiastic volunteers.

The show stars newcomer Sophie Skelton, also starring as Claire Randall’s daughter Brianna in the hit series Outlander. “Ren is a free spirit and not your typical damsel in distress,” Skelton remarks of her title character. “This strength of character makes her a desirable role to play and a role model for young girls!”

Actors Sophie Skelton, Duran Fulton Brown (The Musketeers) and Christopher Dane (Doctor Who) and director Kate Madison (Born of Hope) introduce the fantasy-adventure series Ren: The Girl with the Mark, in the trailer below:

Skelton leads a cast well acquainted with genre fare, including Duran Fulton Brown (Jekyll & Hyde, The Musketeers), Nick Cornwall (Outlander, DaVinci’s Demons), Richard Zeman (Stargate, The Day After Tomorrow) and series co-creator Christopher Dane (The Four Warriors, Doctor Who).

Ren: The Girl with the Mark tells the story of a young woman who, after an otherworldly encounter in the woods, is marked by an ancient spirit. Cast out from her small village, she is forced to leave behind the family she has spent her whole life protecting and journey across the country to find the real meaning behind the mark she now bears.

See what Sophie Skelton has to say about playing Ren.

Despite a price tag one hundredth that of Games of Thrones – less than £40,000 per hour vs. an estimated £4,000,000 per hour for HBO’s international epic – Ren: The Girl with the Mark has aimed for big-budget TV quality every step of the way.

The show is the brainchild of director Kate Madison, whose 2009 Lord of the Rings fan film Born of Hope has been viewed over 35 million times on YouTube. “We already have the attention of some major players in UK television,” says Madison. “They’ve never seen anything like this before. They’re blown away by what can be achieved when creativity and passion drive a project.”

Filming in the tiny village of Caxton, Cambridgeshire, the crew built a highly detailed medieval market square in the car park of their makeshift studio. Leading this Herculean effort was series co-creator Christopher Dane. “When the idea of building a set on our budget was first suggested, I thought it was insane,” Dane confesses, “but I soon realised it was the only way to get the level of control we needed to tell our story.”

Over a five-month period, over 200 volunteers helped to construct the set, props and costumes needed to fill the fantasy world of Ren – as well as serving as extras – some of them travelling from Germany, the Netherlands and even the US to be involved. “The premise of the series, and Kate’s incredible success with Born of Hope, inspired a huge following of loyal fans,” explains co-producer Michelle Golder. “Without the time and talents they gave in abundance, Ren would not have been possible.”

Season one of Ren: The Girl with the Mark is free online at I’ll leave you with the exciting trailer!