‘Blooded’: Truth, lies and animal rights

Fake film showing humans hunted down in Scottish highlands dupes activists

BY Ben Riley-Smith LAST UPDATED AT 19:02 ON Tue 22 Mar 2011

A new 'mockumentary' showing a group of young deer-stalkers being stripped and hunted by a militant anti-hunting organisation has caused controversy and confusion among animal rights campaigners.
 
Blooded, released next week, takes as its focus an incident in October 2005 when five hunters were kidnapped in the Scottish highlands by the extremist outfit Real Animal League.

Drugged, stripped and dumped in the wilderness, the pro-hunting friends were themselves hunted across the Isle of Mull like animals by the RAL. Blooded combines interviews with the victims, reconstructed footage of the actual events and real video clips taken by the RAL to retell the harrowing story.
 
Except, of course, the incident never really happened. There was no kidnapping; there is no Real Animal League. The film is fictional. Yet that hasn't stopped some animal rights protestors becoming seriously confused.
 
To generate buzz for the film, distributor Revolver Entertainment made a fake website for the fictional Real Animal League. "They've created this fully-fledged animal rights website that looks quite crude and has lots of links to real organisations," the film's director, Ed Boase, told The First Post today. "The whole idea is to make it as authentic as possible, but not to the point where you couldn't find out that it wasn't real."
 
So convincing was the site, however, that it actually duped one of the world's leading underground animal rights organisations. "The marketing department sent out a statement from the Real Animal League, a ranting email about being misrepresented by this film that's coming out called Blooded," Boase said. "It was printed in full by the website of the Animal Liberation Front, who are an actual organisation, probably the most substantial in the world."
 
Boase went on: "It was up there for quite some time. They were, I believe, not very happy when they discovered that it was all part of a marketing campaign".
 
The Animal Liberation Front aren't the only ones taken in. YouTube have removed grainy hand-held footage of the film's protagonists being chased and forced into confessions, posted under the guise of the Real Animal League, after deeming the videos inappropriate. They have also deactivated RAL's YouTube channel.
 
Boase appears genuinely amazed that some people believe Blooded is real. "You don't have to do a lot of research to discover that on the Isle of Mull in 2005 there wasn't a hunting incident like this," he said.

Anyone who has seen the film – The First Post included – would be left in no doubt that it is fabricated, mainly because the vox-pop 'interviews' with the supposed victims of the RAL are clearly performed by actors.  

All that matters to Boase, of course, is that the confusion continues to bring attention to his film right up to its release. · 

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