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by Thomas Balmès


In 1999, King Jigme Wangchuck approved the use of television and Internet throughout the largely undeveloped nation of Bhutan, assuring the masses that rapid development was synonymous with the “gross national happiness” of his country, a term he himself coined. Director Thomas Balmès’s film Happiness begins at the end of this process as Laya, the last remaining village tucked away within the Himalayan kingdom, becomes enmeshed in roads, electricity, and cable television.

international title: Happiness
original title: Happiness
country: France, Finland
year: 2014
genre: documentary
directed by: Thomas Balmès
film run: 80'
screenplay: Thomas Balmès
cinematography by: Thomas Balmès, Nina Bernfeld
film editing: Alex Cardon, Ronan Sinquin
producer: Thomas Balmès, Juliette Guigon, Patrick Winocour, Kaarle Aho
production: TBC, Quark Productions, ARTE France, BBC Films, YLE, DR, SVT, BBF, YesDocu, VRT, Région Ile-de-France, CNC, programme MEDIA, Finnish Film Foundation, AVEK, PROCIREP, ANGOA

main awards/selection

Sundance Film Festival 2014 

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Structural Constellations