Saturday, April 25, 2015

Filmmakers Adam Shell and Nicholas Kraft,producers of the documentary Pursuing Happiness, joined me Monday at 9:15am pst on KUCI 88.9fm!

If you missed Adam and Nicholas Kraft
on today's show, listen here!
(You'll be so much happier you did!)

Adam Shell went on a quest to meet the happiest peeople in the world! His film, Pursuing Happiness, is a documentary that explores what is happiness? He explores that question through the stories, experiences and expertise of a wide variety of Americans from various walks of life.

About the Film

Since the penning of America’s founding document, we have believed it our right to pursue happiness. This notion is ingrained into the fabric of our lives. The determination to actualize this right influences every decision we make: from career and spiritual choices, to our acquisition of wealth, security, and status.

This desire to be happy is so intense that we spend an immeasurable amount of time and money trying to obtain it. Happiness has become a product: drink a Coke and "Open Happiness." This belief, that happiness is easily obtained, coupled with the moralization of happiness, has given rise to a multi-billion dollar self-help movement and an even larger pharmaceutical industry.

Americans spend upwards of $10 Billion every year seeking Happiness, which doesn’t even include the money we spend on stuff we think will make us happy or the billions spent on anti-depressants.

What is the power behind happy? Why has it become a leading concern of the 21st century?

We sought to find out.

Pursuing Happiness is our diary of interviews with America’s happiest people. In order to find an answer to one simple question: what does happiness mean to Americans today?, we lived with hundreds of Americans, all of whom are perceived by others as the happiest person they know.

What can they tell us? What lessons can we learn about our own happiness? What are the common threads of the happiest people in America?

We invite you to see what Happiness looks like among real people living everyday lives: from hard-scrabble existences to the terminally ill, from wealthy to those who’ve experienced great loss, come see for yourself. Our World Premier date coincides with the United Nations’ publication of the 3rd Annual World Happiness Report.

But what is happiness?

Pursuing Happiness is a documentary that explores that question through the stories, experiences and expertise of a wide variety of Americans from various walks of life.

To accomplish this, filmmakers Adam Shell and Nicholas Kraft set out on a 6,000 mile-long quest to find the happiest people in America. They lived with their subjects, which allowed them to capture intimate moments through firsthand experiences. The journey took them to a hospital as a family struggled to save a dying loved one, through deserted streets in Detroit as two vigilante artists fought to save their city, into the heart of Cajun country where they were awarded the key to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana for their documentation of authentic Cajun culture, and to New York City where they presented their work to theUnited Nations DPI.

Woven in with these incredible stories is the ongoing academic and spiritual discussion about the origins and purpose of happiness. From tracing the word and meaning through human history, to examining the biological and evolutionary benefits of happiness, experts from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and theology provide insights, context, and guidance into what has become the hot button topic of the 21st century.

Though set-up as a journey to pursue happiness in every corner of the country, the film emerges as an exploration of connection and community and a movement to celebrate the best of life: the triumphant feeling of playing the piano as a double hand amputee, the loss of fear that accompanies an arduous battle with cancer, and all the small, yet meaningful moments, that too often go overlooked.

These rich experiences serve as much-needed reminders that life is far richer than the 24-hour news cyclewould have us believe. It is becoming harder to focus on the goodness that surrounds us, but through humor, scientifically-backed research, and a respectful sensitivity to life’s most precious moments, Pursuing Happiness aims to shift the focus to the positive for more than just 90-minutes.

Here's the trailer!

After each screening, there is a Q&A.

World Premier: Friday, April 24th at 8pm @ The Regency South Coast Village

2nd Showing: Tuesday, April 28th at 1:30pm @ Island Cinema

Adam Shell
AGS Entertainment, Inc. 

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