A YouTube video said to show a hero Syrian boy who manages to rescue a young girl while under gunfire has been revealed to be a fake, and Norwegian film-makers have told the BBC they were behind it and they filmed it in Malta.

They say it was filmed this summer with the intention of being presented as real.

Lars Klevberg, a 34-year-old film director based in Oslo, wrote a script after watching news coverage of the conflict in Syria.  

"If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope," he said. "We shot it in Malta in May this year on a set that was used for other famous movies like Troy and Gladiator," Klevberg told the BBC. "The little boy and girl are professional actors from Malta. The voices in the background are Syrian refugees living in Malta.

"The video became viral but Klevberg said he was not uncomfortable that millions of people may have been misled.

"By publishing a clip that could appear to be authentic we hoped to take advantage of a tool that's often used in war; make a video that claims to be real. We wanted to see if the film would get attention and spur debate, first and foremost about children and war. We also wanted to see how the media would respond to such a video," he said.


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