A.K.A. – 2016

When we hear of identity theft we usually think about someone gaining access to bank accounts or making purchases on someone else’s credit card, but we seldom find a case of someone successfully living another person’s life. A.K.A. is a documentary about the little-known story of Ronald Ivan MacDonald, a serial impostor with only a high school education who stole the identities and obtained work as a psychologist at several universities, clinics and hospitals in Canada. MacDonald managed to stay one step ahead of the authorities until February 1966 when he was revealed to be an impostor at Lakehead University. He had stolen the identity of a leading American academic and for three years managed to trick his colleagues at the university and the local hospital, and an entire community, into believing he was a published author with a PhD in Psychology. A.K.A. uses a combination of archival footage, dramatizations and interviews to explore the world of Ronald Ivan MacDonald, a Canadian response to Ferdinand Demara.