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World’s First Happiness Film Festival Returns in 20212 min read

9 March 2021 2 min read


World’s First Happiness Film Festival Returns in 20212 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After a sold-out inaugural run, with more than 1500 participants over four days, the annual Happiness Film Festival will be back after a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic. Organised in partnership with the National Youth Council, this year’s festival looks at happiness from the perspective of vulnerable groups and questions how society can better support them. 

The Happiness Film Festival 2021 is spearheaded by Happiness Initiative, a Singapore-based social enterprise that aims to translate the science of happiness and well-being into actionable insights for optimal societal outcomes. Organised in partnership with the National Youth Council, the festival will be held from 19 – 28 March at Filmgarde Bugis+ in conjunction with the UN’s International Day of Happiness on 20 March.

The theme this year is “An Inclusive Journey Towards Happiness”, a topic more relevant than ever amid a pandemic that has greatly impacted vulnerable and marginalised groups.

The film festival will be centred around six themes exploring the perspectives and struggles of 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, followed by a dialogue with community leaders working on the ground such as Ms Lim Shaw Hui, Assistant Director of Beyond Social Services who will be sharing additional insights in the post-screening dialogue on underprivileged families.

Opening the festival is John Denver Trending, a Filipino film that centers on a poor 14-year-old high school student who is falsely accused of stealing his classmate’s iPad. Caught on video brawling with this classmate, this video turns viciously viral in the worst ways. The post-screening dialogue will touch on cyber-bullying and its effect on youths, and will include a panel discussion with representatives from Twitter and TOUCH Cyber-Wellness.

Happiness Film Festival Schedule

DateTimeFeature Film Short Film Theme
19 March7:15 PM John Denver Trending2.0 by Dylan Tan Youths
20 March2:30 PMStill HumanBangla by Idette ChenMigrant Workers
21 March2:30 PMA Man Called ovePigeonhole by Lim Mei FongElderly
26 March7:15 PMThe SpecialsWhite Carnations by Tang Wan XinNeurodiverse People
27 March2:30 PMSkid Row MarathonTake Me Away by Sun JiEx-offenders
28 March2:30 PMSorry We Missed YouAway From Ayah by Amelia TanUnderprivileged Families

Each screening will be accompanied by a post-screening discussion.

More information on the films and ticketing may be found at

Ticket costs $12 for all titles, and $9 for students and senior citizens.

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