Monday, February 6, 2012

St. Bonaventure to host world release of award-winning documentary ‘Happy’

St. Bonaventure University will join communities across the globe this week as it presents the world release of the award-winning documentary “Happy.” The film will be shown at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on campus.

Admission is free and a reception will be held in the lobby after the 50-minute film from Academy Award-nominated director Roko Belic (“Genghis Blues”).

“Happy” is a feature‐length documentary that leads viewers on a journey across five continents in search of the keys to happiness. The film addresses many of the fundamental issues faced in today’s society: How do we balance the allure of money, fame and social status with our needs for strong relationships, health and personal fulfillment?

Through remarkable human stories and cutting‐edge science, “Happy” leads us toward a deeper understanding of why and how we can pursue more fulfilling, healthier and happier lives. “Happy” takes the viewer from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the mountains of Bhutan. It provides an opportunity to listen to the wisdom of a Kolkata rickshaw driver, the compassion of a volunteer at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying and the advice of some of the world’s leading happiness researchers.

The film combines real‐life human drama and cutting‐edge science to provide insights into the mysteries of happiness.

In 2005, director Tom Shadyac (“Liar Liar,” “Patch Adams,” “Bruce Almighty”) handed Roko Belic a New York Times article titled “A New Measure of Well‐Being From a Happy Little Kingdom.” The article ranked the United States 23rd on its list of happiest countries. Shadyac, himself dissatisfied with his luxurious Beverly Hills lifestyle, asked Belic to make a documentary investigation into the origins of human happiness — and why the U.S. ranks so low. This simple inquiry led to a global exploration of happiness research.

“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.

Belic has been filming “Happy” for the past four years, and has attracted well‐known experts such as Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Richard Davidson, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and others. Marci Shimoff, best‐selling author of “Happy for No Reason” and “Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul,” narrates the film.

Wadi Rum Production films are a collaboration between the two Academy Award-nominated brothers Roko and Adrian Belic. Their debut feature, “Genghis Blues,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and received acclaim at more than 100 film festivals worldwide.

The screening of the film is being coordinated by Dr. Charles Walker, a professor of psychology at St. Bonaventure who has been doing research on human well-being in higher education for more than a decade..

Learn more about the film at

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