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"The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. It is the goal of every other goal. Ben Henretig has embarked on an ambitious project to document a country and culture that has embraced Happiness as a part of its national policy" - Deepak Chopra
Featuring original music by Imogen Heap & Zoe Keating
WHY WE'RE MAKING THIS FILM:
We're making this film because we're concerned that, in our rush to make progress in the world, we're leaving things behind.
Last year, four adventurers made an unprecedented human-powered, border-to-border crossing of Bhutan - a 42-day, 485-mile journey that would profoundly change all their lives.
The Happiest Place tells the story of this incredible journey, offering a glimpse into a forgotten world that may have hidden within it the key to responsible progress in the 21st century.
The film marries the best parts of an epic adventure film with a timely inquiry into what matters most. 10 inspired trekkers joined the journey for 10 days including Imogen Heap, who will be writing a piece of original music for the film. The grueling physical challenge of crossing Bhutan becomes a metaphor for each of our personal journeys on the road to authentic, sustainable happiness.
Many know Bhutan as one of the happiest places on earth, as the last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom and the only country in the world to use Gross National Happiness as its primary yardstick for progress.
In Bhutan's rugged mountains and pristine forests, in the smiles of farmers and archers, in the hillside monasteries and ancient fortresses, we see reflected the grace of generations of wisdom. A fragile beauty that is emblematic of all those natural spaces, traditions and cultures around the world that are slowly disappearing in the wake of progress.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT:
*The film has been shot and is sitting on 36TB of hard drives - with your support we can finish the film!*
To date, this project has been self-funded on sweat and credit cards.
A partnership with the Bhutan Olympic Committee gave us special access to dignitaries, athletes, royalty, nuns, musicians, and farmers throughout the journey. Their support afforded us a rare opportunity to film for 2 months - longer than any team has ever filmed in Bhutan.
This film will offer an intimate glimpse of Bhutan few have ever experienced.
IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE TRUE, YOU'LL LOVE THIS FILM:
- The concept of Gross National Happiness makes you smile.
- Your favorite films have incredible soundtracks (Imogen Heap & Zoe Keating).
- You love to hear friends tell you tales of their journeys to far off lands - and how they've been transformed.
- You have an adventurous spirit.
- You speak Dzongka.
- You'd rather walk or bike than take the car, thank you very much.
- You're a sucker for films with beautiful cinematography.
- "It can't be done" makes you think "Oh yes it can."
- You're curious whether the expedition (and film team) make it all the way across the country.
- You like films that make you really feel more than just think.
- A trip to Bhutan is on your bucket list.
- You know someone who knows someone who knows someone who worked really hard on this film and you want to see the project succeed.
We have a world-class team at work on this documentary.
- Ben Henretig - Director / Cinematographer
- Larkin Donley - Cinematographer
- Peter Stoddard - Sound Recordist / Photographer
- David Pond - Assistant Editor
- Rico Andrade - Assistant Editor
- Andy Evans - Co-Executive Producer
- Thomas Ermacora - Co-Executive Producer
- Jameson Hsu - Co-Executive Producer
- Andrea Chung - Producer
- Tony Lillios - Producer
- Amy Benziger - Producer
- Bob Henretig - Associate Producer
- Diane Donley - Associate Producer
- Nicolette Borek Associate Producer
- Corwin Crownover - Associate Producer
- James H. Fitzgerald - Associate Producer
- Ugen Tshering Nadik - Field Producer / Fixer
- Karma Dorji - Field Producer
- Karen Everett - Story Consultant
- Imogen Heap - Composing original music for the film
- Zoe Keating - Composing original music for the film
- (31 days)