GenreDocumentary, Drama, Family Music directorMark Adler WriterRoko Belic LanguageEnglish
Release dateApril 9, 2011 (2011-04-09) CastGregory Berns (himself), Roy Blanchard (himself), Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (himself), The Dalai Lama (himself), Richard Davison (himself), Ed Diener (himself) Similar moviesHector and the Search for Happiness, The Captive, The Racket Boys, Moscow, Belgium, Young Girls of Wilko, Between Us
Happy is a 2011 feature documentary film directed, written, and co-produced by Academy Award nominated film-maker Roko Belic. It explores human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, weaving in the newest findings of positive psychology.
Director Roko Belic was originally inspired to create the film after producer/director Tom Shadyac (Liar, Liar, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty) showed him an article in The New York Times entitled "A New Measure of Well Being From a Happy Little Kingdom". The article ranks the United States as the 23rd happiest country in the world. Shadyac then suggested that Belic make a documentary about happiness. Belic spent several years interviewing hundreds of people, ranging from leading happiness researchers to a rickshaw driver in Kolkatta, a family living in a cohousing community in Denmark, a woman who was run over by a truck, a Cajun fisherman, and more.
Happy official trailer
Roko and his brother Adrian Belic shot the film on three Sony Z1U HDV video cameras. They interviewed a number of top psychologists around the world, including Ed Diener, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Richard Davidson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin's Lab of Affective Neuroscience, and Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness.
Vivien Hillgrove—whose credits include Blue Velvet, June, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being—edited the film. Belic received the majority of the budget from Tom Shadyac to complete principal photography and post-production. The filmmakers then turned to crowdsource fundraising website Kickstarter.com to raise the finishing funds for the film. The Kickstarter campaign succeeded in raising $36,000 out of a requested $33,000 in July 2010.