Docudrama by Tempe man expands to local theaters - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Docudrama by Tempe man expands to local theaters

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Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:26 pm

An independent documentary/drama, “People v The State of Illusion,” written and produced by Austin Vickers, a Tempe resident, will expand to two additional Arizona Harkins Theatres on Friday.

The film, a documentary that opened Sept. 9 at the Harkins Camelview Theatre in Scottsdale, will open in Chandler at the Harkins Chandler Fashion and in Mesa at Harkins Superstition Springs.

The expansion to the two theaters demonstrates the popularity the film has received since its opening, Vickers said. Last Saturday night, the film sold out.

The film centers on a narrative about the life of Aaron Roberts and is interwoven with interviews with experts in the fields of neuroscience, biochemistry, psychology, quantum physics, sociology and conscious theory. Roberts is sentenced to prison for manslaughter and through conversations with those around him, he escapes his own self-imposed emotional and psychological prison.

It is through Roberts’ story that Vickers hopes moviegoers will come to their own self-realization.

“There is never a point in life where it’s too late to change,” Vickers said.

The journey that Roberts begins is similar to Vickers’ own life changes. And many of Roberts’ conversations were conversations Vickers has had in his own life, he said.

Canadian-born Vickers, who attended law school at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, was once a highly paid corporate lawyer for Colgate Palmolive in England.

After a number of personal changes, including reading “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom, Vickers realized he was living a life dictated by others and not the life he was meant to be living.

“Law is ideologically about proving the truth,” Vickers said about why he originally chose law as a career. However, the reality is often not the ideal.

After that, he quit his job, wrote a book and began his life’s passion of helping people change their lives, Vickers said.

For the last decade, Vickers has been speaking, writing and teaching about leadership qualities to executives at Fortune 500 companies, including Intel and Wells Fargo.

One of the main themes of the movie is to take responsibility for your life and your own experience. As the movie progresses, Roberts begins to realize that he cannot blame others for the things that happen in his life. And just as he can’t blame others for the bad things, he can’t give others the credit for the good things either.

“We all have some hurdle, some obstacle we have to overcome in some way,” Vickers said.

Teaching people that they are in control of their own destiny is what Vickers has made his life’s work, and the film was just one way to reach many people at once.

“People v The State of Illusion” is Vickers’ first film experience. He wanted to give people a movie that had more than just explosion for explosions sake, he said. Instead, he hopes to inspire others to live differently.

“I want it to be in every city in America,” Vickers said. And while some reviews have been glowing, others call it boring. Vickers thinks people who keep an open mind will learn something.

“We can train our minds to find beauty, creativity and imagination,” he said.

Despite the difficulties of writing and producing a film, including hiring a crew and director, Vickers plans on making more films in the future.

The film asks at the end, “What is the greatest expression of yourself?”

That’s a question Vickers hopes people learn to answer.

For show times and advance tickets for “People v The State of Illusion,” visit

• Contact writer; (480) 898-5645 or

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