One of the keys to finding happiness is perspective, whether shifting your own or looking at life from the perspective of others. For happiness can mean different things to everyone.
And after the year that we’ve had, the topic is more relevant than ever. That is why the theme of this year’s Happiness Film Festival is “An Inclusive Journey Towards Happiness”, looking at happiness from the perspective of vulnerable and marginalised groups—those hardest hit during the pandemic—and the ways we can better support them.
Organised by the Singapore-based social enterprise Happiness Initiative, which sets out to translate the science of happiness and well-being into actionable insights for optimal societal outcomes, this year’s festival returns from March 19 to 28, at Filmgarde Bugis+.
And for the second time, the Happiness Initiative has partnered with the National Youth Council to discuss the topic of mental health, which remains a key concern among our youth, who continue to feel anxious over future uncertainties—and need to feel supported and know where to seek help when needed.
The film festival will look at happiness from six different perspectives: migrant workers, underprivileged families, neurodiverse people, ex-offenders, the elderly and youths. Each group will be represented by an international film and a local short film and followed by a post-screening dialogue with community leaders sharing additional insights.
Here are the six films (and more) to watch:
1. John Denver Trending
Date March 19
A poor 14-year-old boy is falsely accused of stealing his classmate’s iPad. He is caught on video brawling with this classmate—and this video turns viral in the worst ways.
Accompanying short film 2.0 by Dylan Tan
A top influencer with a secret to hide is not risking losing her followers, and even going as far as to strip naked online. She neglects her only family until she discovers what her mother would do for her only daughter.