Not speaking for Barb, obviously, but my read on it is that a fan film is a film made by fans of a particular show who make their own film based on it. Polaris is a riff of the kinds of space adventure typified by Forbidden Planet
and Star Trek,
but it is its own thing in the same genre. A lot of Star Trek fan film people are involved, I think, because they like this kind of show even if it's not Trek per se.
I can't speak for anyone else on the crew, but I'm not really a fan filmmaker, despite my posting here and giving occasional assistance to friends who do make them. My only serious involvement in fan films was helping out with Starship Exeter
(rewriting a script 8 years ago and doing some post production more recently). I've turned down all other offers to be involved in fan productions because I'm not interested in playing with someone else's toys.
What I hope I bring to the table for Polaris
is the perspective of someone who doesn't primarily work in this genre. I like scifi, but my own film stuff tends to be more contemporary. As such, I'm always encouraging us to make this film its own thing.
I think when the first trailer finally comes out the true identity of this show will be very apparent. The trailer itself is nothing like any fan film trailer I've ever seen (whether that's good or bad I'll leave up to viewers).