Happy – A Documentary

Academy Award® nominated director Roko Belic has spent the last 5 years filming and working on a new feature-length documentary called Happy that takes us on a trip around the globe — visiting 5 continents and 14 countries — exploring the power and mystery of happiness and searching for “a deeper understanding of why and how we can pursue more fulfilling, healthier and happier lives.”

HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Happy is screening with showings last month in Spokane, WA, and is now playing this month in San Francisco, CA. Keep an eye out for it playing in a theater near you. You can also host your own screening or request that a specific theater schedule some dates.

We hope that the lessons learned through the film can not only help individuals find more peace and contentment in their own lives, but that the shift toward happiness will lead us to be more compassionate, less destructive and better citizens of the world.

via Roxie Theater & The Wall Street Journal


Age of Champions

Every two years, more than 12,000 athletes across the country compete in the National Senior Olympics. The Documentary Foundation film Age of Champions tells the inspiring story of four athletes — a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, pair of swimming brothers, and team of basketball grandmothers.

John and Bradford Tatum have been passionate about swimming for nearly 80 years. (Photo credit: Documentary Foundation)

The film captures the triumphant spirit of these competitors as they tackle the challenges of old age with grace, humor and optimism. Win or lose, they inspire us all to follow our dreams and find purpose at any stage of life.

The film has been accepted into the 2011 Silverdocs Film Festival in Washington, DC, and they are currently raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of “Color and sound post-production work for the film” and “Digital transfer to an HDCam tape for delivery to the festival”.

via Kickstarter


Opening Our Eyes

Mother/daughter filmmakers Gail Mooney and Erin Kelly circled the globe on a 99-day journey to six continents, shooting a film about people who are making a positive difference in the world.

Our trip was the journey of a lifetime. Not only did we witness the power of the individual and what one can do to “make a difference,” but we experienced this together. In the process of making this film and this journey, we learned about each other as the people we are – not just as a mother or a daughter. We formed a bond that will last a lifetime, and that in itself was perhaps the most rewarding part of the journey.

Our ultimate goal for the film is that it is seen by as many people as possible in the hopes that they too will be inspired and motivated to create positive change in their own communities.

Their film was successfully funded earlier this year via a Kickstarter Campaign. They are currently in post-production and anxiously awaiting the first rough cut from their editor.

You can learn more about the project and follow their progress on the film via their website and Twitter @mooneykelly.

Their initial inspiration for the film came from the story of Maggie Doyne, who after her senior year of high school, as her friends headed to college, took a year off to travel the world. Shocked by conditions she found the orphans of war-torn Nepal living in, she used her entire savings ($5,000 she earned babysitting in high school) to buy land in Nepal and began work on a shelter for orphans, now called the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and housing 40 children. She has also gone on to create the Kopila Valley Primary School, providing education health care and a daily nutritious meal to 230 children.

I knew I couldn’t do anything about a million orphans, but what if I started with this girl? It became addictive. I said, if I can help one girl, why not 5? Why not 10?

via Kickstarter and The New York Times