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World Happy Day Coming Up: Take Action Now

By on January 23, 2012 – 12:46 am  No Comment

Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06, is the associate editor for PPND and recently the book author for the first two books in the PPND series, Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts. She also writes regularly for PPND and in her own blog, Positive Psychology Reflections. Full bio. Articles.



Have you ever wished you could find a more effective way to share what you know about happiness with your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors? Ever wished there were an entertaining way to get across to kids what really matters when it comes to living well? Then you will be interested in this email that I received today from Eiji Han Shimizu:

Eiji

Greetings from Bali!
I hope this message finds you healthy and happy.

Speaking of happiness, we have completed the film, HAPPY, and started showing it around the world.
So far we have won more than 10 awards, including best picture, in international film festivals. Some leading universities of psychology have started using it as an educational material. All this success was made possible with your help 🙂

Moving forward, we have set World Happy Day on Feb 11, 2012, when communities around the world get together and watch the film, and then discuss what would make people and the world happier.

So far, more than 300 places in over 50 countries from Moscow to Buenos Aires, Singapore to Antarctica joined the movement, and the momentum is accelerating.

Do you think you can write a story on this?

Editor’s note: Eiji is the main producer, second unit director, and and cinematographer for the movie. Check out his view of the Secret of Happiness.

What is the movie Happy all about? Because time is running out, I was worried about whether I could pull together the story in time for people to take action. But then I received the press release, most of which I’ve included below. On a personal note, I have seen the movie and found it a wonderful mix of story and thoughtful reflection and expert commentary.

LOS ANGELES – On World Happy Day, February 11, 2012, premiere screenings of HAPPY, the latest film from Academy Award® nominated director Roko Belic (Genghis Blues), will be held around the globe. People worldwide will unite in venues ranging from large public theaters to community centers, private homes, churches, schools and more.

“Our goal is for people all around the world to come together, on the same day, start the conversation about happiness and begin to live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives,” says Belic. “Screenings are already scheduled in Cambodia, The Philippines, Brazil, Nepal, India, and several other countries as well as in cities across America. Even Antarctica!”

Roko Belic

The film HAPPY was inspired by a challenge. Executive producer Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Liar, Liar, Patch Adams) read a New York Times article ranking the U.S. 23rd in happiness. He asked Belic to find out why. Belic investigated questions like,

  • What is happiness and where does it come from?
     
  • How do we balance the allure for money, power and social status with our need for strong social relationships, health and personal fulfillment?

Viewers are treated to a global cinematic quest that travels from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the mountains of Bhutan and beyond. Stories of joy, connection, adversity and courage are interspersed with interviews of several of the world’s leading experts in the science of happiness and well-being.

“The desire for happiness is universal,” says Belic. “The sources are much more common and attainable than many of us believe. It is exciting to share this film and the cutting-edge research with people all over the world. It is even better to know they will be sharing it with each other, too.”

HAPPY was developed under the Creative Visions Foundation, a publicly supported 501 (c)(3), which supports creative activists who use the power of media and the arts to affect positive change in the world. The film will be subtitled in English and seven other languages.

The world’s leading experts in the science of happiness and well-being world include names familiar to us, including Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Dan Gilbert.

Take Action!

Step 1: Find out if there is a public showing available near you. Check the World Happy map to find out.

Step 2: If you are lucky and there is a public showing close by, consider purchasing tickets in advance. The map has links to theater web sites where tickets can be purchased. Take those friends and family along.

Step 3: If there is no public viewing, consider hosting a viewing of your own. Unfortunately it’s too late to sign up for one outside the United States (maybe if you begged?) but within the US, we have until February 1. Check the prices and requirements on the sign up page.

My friend Sandy is talking to a local movie theater about running a viewing. You could host one in a school auditorium or a public library or a house of worship or a retirement community, even your own living room – any place where people can get together, preferably with a large screen. As of today (January 23), people within the United States still have 9 days to take action.

Then What?

Of course the movie will be available for viewing after February 11. But there is something magical about knowing that you are watching it on the same day as people in Antarctica, New Zealand, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, and Reykjavik.

We plan additional articles, perhaps interviews with Eiji and Roko. But for more information right now, check out Roko’s blog posting, The Search for Happiness.

Happy – A Documentary Trailer from Wadi Rum Films on Vimeo.

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