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AGENT OF HAPPINESS

by Arun Bhattarai & Dorottya Zurbó

SYNOPSIS

Amber is one of the many agents working for the Bhutanese government to measure people’s happiness levels among the remote Himalayan mountains. But will he find his own along the way?

AGENT OF HAPPINESS offers a unique take on the notoriously exoticized Bhutan and its unusual happiness policy. We follow Amber as he investigates various expressions of contentment across different households and lifestyles while navigating his own struggle as a Nepali minority. The holistic philosophy at the heart of the survey he conducts challenges the conventional metrics of fulfillment and success, often provoking some deeper soul-searching. The filmmakers elegantly capture many tender moments between Amber and his interlocutors, as well as some very revealing conversations filled with unflinching honesty and quiet wisdom.

Through its carefully crafted narrative, the film resonates as a heartfelt exploration of happiness in the face of adversity. As Amber grapples with societal disparities and personal roadblocks while searching for love, this story becomes a beautifully realized reminder to count our blessings.

DETAILS

94 mins

2024

Bhutan, Hungary

Nepali, Dzongkha, English

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CREDITS

Directors: Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó

Producers: Noémi Veronika Szakonyi, Máté Artur Vincze, Arun Bhattarai

Cinematographers: Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó

Sound Design: Rudolf Várhegyi, Tamás Bohács

Composer: Ádám Balázs

Line Producers: Suraj Bhattarai, Anna Tóth

Editor: Péter Sass

BIOGRAPHY

DIRECTOR - ARUN BHATTARAI

Arun Bhattarai (Bhutan) premiered his first feature-length documentary, The Next Guardian, at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It has played at over 50 film festivals around the world. His short Mountain Man has also screened at festivals like DOC NYC, Chicago International Film Festival, and IDFA. His films have been supported by the Sundance Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and the IDFA-Bertha Fund, among others.

DIRECTOR - DOROTTYA ZURBÓ

Dorottya Zurbó’s first feature documentary, The Next Guardian, premiered at IDFA. Her second feature documentary, Easy Lessons, premiered at the Locarno-IFF and has screened all over the world. Her films have been supported by the Sundance Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and IDFA-Bertha Fund.

SELECT FESTIVALS

SUNDANCE 2024

PRESS

"Boasts all the hallmarks of a audience-friendly documentary; an intriguing story, a likeable protagonist, stunning cinematography and an accessible tone”
— Screendaily

“Calming and humanizing, as though it were an artistic embodiment of the very contentment Bhutan boasts.”
— Variety

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