NEWS: Happiness Film Festival Ends With All 10 Events Sold Out, and More Than 1,500 Participants2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
The world’s first Happiness Film Festival ended last Sunday with a resounding success, with more than 1,500 from different walks of life attending all 10 completely sold out events and screenings. The festival was organised to promote greater awareness of happiness and well-being through films, with each film exploring different aspects of happiness – kindness, resilience, meaning, purpose, pain, vulnerability, technology, attachment, being present, contentment, and mindful consumption.
Sherman Ho, co-founder of Happiness Initiative and organiser of the film festival, said, “We are really humbled by the response to the film festival and the depth of discussion we had during the dialogue sessions. Happiness is a very personal and unique journey for everyone, and there is no one secret method to discovering happiness. We hope that everyone that came took away something positive from the discussions.”
The post-screening dialogues with a panel of speakers delved deeper into the themes presented in the films. Each speaker brought in their own wealth of experiences and insights to the discussion, with over 20 panelists speaker over the course of the 5 days.
Through these films and post-screening dialogues, a common theme weaves across them: Happiness is from within.
Simon Leow, co-founder of Happiness Initiative, remarked, “Happiness is on the minds of many people. Some came in search of happiness. Some came to share their perspectives on happiness. Some, candidly even asked, ‘Why am I not happier after watching the film?’. Happiness has many facets. Everyone values these facets differently. Through this film festival, we want promote discussions and awareness of happiness and wellbeing. On a deeper level, we hope that people can get in touch with themselves on what truly matters to them – re-examining their choices and priorities.”
Beyond this film festival, Happiness Initiative is starting a platform called Building Happiness Initiatives, where they hope to get more people to start community initiatives to bring about a greater sense of happiness and well-being in their own communities. The first session will happen on 30 March, 1pm – 3pm at *SCAPE HubQuarters.
Next year, Happiness Initiative intends to grow the film festival into a much broader international conference, where they want to bring in practitioners of Positive Psychology to start a bigger dialogue on how we as individuals can improve our happiness and well-being. The film festival will continue to happen as a part of the conference programme. They hope that through these efforts, they can help people better understand the choices they can make to be happier, and to make Singapore a kinder, more gracious, and more resilient society.