‘Syrian hero boy’ is a FAKE: Norwegian director admits that footage of youngster dodging sniper fire to rescue girl was actually shot on Gladiator film set using professional actors

Gladiator

‘Syrian hero boy’ is a FAKE: Norwegian director admits that footage of youngster dodging sniper fire to rescue girl was actually shot on Gladiator film set using professional actors (Daily Mail, Nov 15, 2014):

  • Video appeared to show boy dodging bullets in streets of countryside town
  • One-minute clip was viewed more than 3.6 million times in just five days
  • But Norwegian director has revealed that it was shot in Malta this summer
  • Explained he wanted to spark a debate about children living in war zones 
  • Lars Klevberg said he did not feel uncomfortable about deceiving viewers 

A video that appeared to show a young Syrian boy running through sniper fire to rescue a young girl is a fake, it has emerged.

The boy was hailed a hero after the one-minute clip, thought to be filmed in Yabroud, a countryside town 50 miles from Damascus, was posted online earlier this week.

But a group of Norwegian filmmakers have today revealed that the footage was in fact shot on location in Malta using professional actors.

Lars Klevberg, a director based in Oslo, said that he wrote the dramatic script after watching news coverage of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

The 34-year-old said that he wanted to present the film as authentic in order to ‘spur debate’ and ‘spark action’ on behalf of ‘innocent children all over the world who are affected by war’.

He told the BBC that he was not uncomfortable about potentially deceiving viewers with the video – which has been watched more than 3.6million times on YouTube.

He added that his hope was that people would react ‘with hope’ when they saw the video, which was filmed on a set used for blockbusters such as Gladiator and Troy.

The clip shows the boy coming under fire as he dashes towards a car-wreck ahead. As he runs shots are fired at him and he appears to fake being shot in the chest and falling over.

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