“Argo” is a movie which tells the true story of a fake movie that was made (or not made, as the case may be) for the purpose of saving American hostages in Iran. But the blog Don’t Mess with Taxes reported on March 19 that there is another award-winning fake film making headlines.
British authorities say that “A Landscape of Lies”, winner of a Silver Ace award at the 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival, is a fake movie that was (not) made for the purposes of defrauding the British government of $4.2 million in tax revenue.
In fact, the movie didn’t even exist until the filmmakers had been accused of tax fraud and were released from jail on bail.
Prosecutors say the film was a fake from the beginning, meant as a tool to be used under a government program that allows filmmakers to claim back up to 25 percent of their expenditure as tax relief.
When Revenue & Customs officials (think IRS in the United States) arrested the filmmakers in April, 2011, and then released them on bail, they quickly produced a fake film, which actually received coverage in industry press and a listing in the iMDb database.
The British tax authority was not persuaded of the film’s legitimacy, however, and convicted five of the filmmakers - Bashar Al-Issa, Aoife Madden, Tariq Hassan, Ian Sherwood and Osama Al Baghdady – of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue. They will be sentenced on March 25.