A Landscape of Lies

A Landscape of Lies

While romping through the internet this week I came across a most bizarre story about British independent film-making and fraud; the story of A Landscape of Lies.

A Landscape of Lies was released straight to DVD in the UK in 2011. It was written and directed by Paul Knight and starred, in her debut role, Loose Women‘s Andrea McLean alongside a cast of unknowns. Apart from winning the Silver Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival A Landscape of Lies is just another gritty British drama destined to go unseen by the masses. Nothing remarkable here. Although…

The film was made on a small budget of just £84,000 and yet when applying for their tax refund for the government were asking for £2.8-million based on a claimed budget of £19-million. That’s a mark-up of 22619% for any maths fans out there. What is even more remarkable is that the film was actually made AFTER the producers were arrested for tax fraud. It turns out that they had no intention of making the film but replied for tax relief regardless. It was only when the government looked into their production and the gang were arrested that they tried to cobble together a film as evidence that they weren’t committing fraud.

The film itself is very real. It has a Facebook page and everything!

I can’t help but feel sorry for the cast and crew that weren’t in on the scam. As far as they were concerned this was a genuine film and for some it was their big break. Now their acting debut is part of an elaborate scam and the name of the film itself feels as though it should come with a “no pun intended” disclaimer.

Enjoy the trailer below and marvel at a film that exists but does so only for the most cynical reasons. Michael Bay would be proud.

UPDATE: The five “producers” have now been jailed