Animal rights group honours Noah director for avoiding animal use in film

Director Darren Aronofsky attends “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception,” at the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, California on July 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Director Darren Aronofsky attends “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception,” at the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, California on July 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Director Darren Aronofsky will be honoured by the Humane Society of the United States for using computer-generated images instead of animals in this year's biblical flood epic Noah, the animal-protection organisation said on Tuesday.

Known for his psychological films like ballet drama Black Swan, Aronofsky said the easiest and most humane way to show the biblical animal kingdom he envisioned was through visual effects.

"It was quickly apparent that working with live animals would be dangerous for them," Aronofsky said in a statement. "It was also morally ambiguous considering we were making a film about the first naturalist, Noah, who saved and cared for all the varied species on the planet."

Aronofsky, 45, will receive the Humane Society's inaugural Humane Filmmaker award at a benefit gala in New York next month.

The big-budget Noah, which earned mixed reviews from critics, has taken in US$359.2 million (S$456.6 million) at the global box office since its release in March.

The organisation said the film shows that animals can be a large part of entertainment production without risking their welfare.

The treatment and use of animals in film and television production has been a hot button topic in recent years. The acclaimed HBO horseracing drama Luck was cancelled when three horses died after being injured during production.

A separate organisation, the American Humane Society, oversees animal use in U.S. film and television production.