Australian best-selling author and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic is making a movie about his life, slated for cinematic release in the United States next year, he says.
Vujicic, who is in town to speak and to promote his latest book, Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (And Other Stuff That Keeps You Down), made the announcement at a press conference at Times Centre yesterday. He said that the movie would be produced by a motion picture company he has set up with un-named partners, 10 Elephants Pictures.
"We have a budget for a class-A actor and a class-A director," he added, without revealing any more details.
He is also a keynote speaker at the 2014 National Achievers Congress, by worldwide seminar organisers Success Resources, at the Resorts World Convention Centre. The congress started yesterday and runs until tomorrow. Tickets to the Success Without Limits that Vujicic is speaking at have sold out.
Born without arms or legs, he has acted in a 2009 short independent film, The Butterfly Circus, about a small circus and its performers during the Great Depression in America.
In an effort to reach more people online, his company Attitude Is Altitude last month set up 36 new YouTube channels, each in a different language. It aims to upload a motivational video every day for 1,000 days.
At the press meet, Vujicic also talked about a book he has co-written with his Mexican-Japanese wife, Kanae Miyahara. Titled Love Without Limits, the book about their past relationships and love story will be in stores on Nov 18.
"We, together, want to strengthen people and share our experiences because there are many divorces happening," said Vujicic, 31, who was not accompanied by his wife on his trip to Singapore. "There are many people looking for love and there are many people who lost from love."
"We want to encourage everyone and just inspire our readers," he added.
Inspiring and giving strength to people is arguably what he does best, and which he demonstrates in Stand Strong.
Bullying is one of his favourite topics to talk about because it happened in his mainstream school in Australia and "was the primary reason I tried to give up", he said.
Born in Melbourne to a pastor father and nurse mother, he struggled with depression as a child and tried to commit suicide when he was 10. He found purpose in life again when he became a Christian five years later.
"This book is all about how to assess the situation of anyone who is discouraging you, putting you down, what is true, what is not, respecting the bullying, to also be educated on the level that we must even love our enemies," said the leader of non- profit organisation Life Without Limbs.
Stand Strong was released on April 14 and has sold more than 5,000 copies in Singapore to date. It has remained the top non-fiction book on the Straits Times bestseller list for the past three weeks. In it, Vujicic gives readers tips on how to avoid being bullied by forming their own unshakeable character and values, and through their faith in God.
The book encourages victims of bullying to help other victims and to have compassion for bullies, who are sometimes from disadvantaged backgrounds. "The biggest bullies in my school actually came from foster child homes and they were many times abused and controlled in their homes," explained Vujicic. "Sometimes, hurting people simply hurts others."
One way to stop bullying is for parents to teach their children the right values and attitude and for these values to be reinforced in schools.
And when it comes to his year-old son, Kiyoshi, Vujicic already has a clear idea of the kind of person he would like him to grow up to be.
"I want my son to be thankful for what he has, to do the best with what he has, but to understand also the differences of irrational fear and rational fear, the lies that sometimes keep you down," he said. "And to come to a faith in God, that he is created not just for the sake of living, but there's a greater purpose to his life and also the joy of being able to give back."
This article was first published on May 31, 2014.
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