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Happiness Tastes Like Orange Juice

DOCUMENTARY | 1 – 5 MIN. | COLLEGE AGE, HONORABLE MENTIONS, MENTAL HEALTH

A young man navigates his education under the shadow of his depression, undergoing extraordinary personal growth as he learns to open up about his mental health battle.

This film contains scenes or descriptions that some viewers may find disturbing, including descriptions of suicide, and/or may not be suitable for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

If you are in crisis, please reach out immediately for help. There are several resources for help in a crisis:

  • CALL:  1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center
  • TEXT: MHA to 741741
  • CALL: 911

But What Does It Mean?

EXPLORE THE FILM'S MEANING →

Even when we feel that we have a sense of a film’s meaning, there is often more to uncover.

Watch this video to better understand the film and why we selected it for the festival.

CLICK TO EXPLORE THE FILM'S THEMES

In this creatively shot film, we never see the subject’s face, but only certain parts – feet, a back, a hand – which helps to communicate his fractured mental and emotional state, as well as a state of hiding. Follow this example, and take a self-portrait that uses creative framing to help describe your emotional state. Follow the example in the film, and consider sharing and talking directly about what your self-portrait is meant to express.

Meet the Filmmaker

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

Sindha Agha is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker who has quickly made a name for herself by creating viral digital pieces with distinct & vibrant visuals. Sindha kicked off her career by writing & directing “Birth Control Your Own Adventure,” a tragicomic short acquired by The New York Times. “Birth Control” quickly reached 12.5 million organic Facebook views and was nominated for a 2019 News & Documentary Emmy. The film was also accepted into Tribeca and Palm Springs Film Festivals as a part of their official selection. Sindha has since been awarded two separate Sundance Institute fellowships, directed two seasons of her critically-acclaimed series “Body Language” for BBC Three, been nominated for “Video of the Year” by the Society of Publication Designers and contributed to Radiolab, The New Yorker and The Atlantic.

This film originally appeared on BBC Three.

Website | Instagram

WHY THEY MADE THE FILM

Being of Pakistani heritage, I was really interested capturing the experience of trying to have open conversations about mental health within South Asian diasporic families and communities. The subject of this film, Prasanna Sellathurai, is of Sri Lankan descent and as we were working on the script, we found ourselves connecting on the unique experience of coming to terms with and opening up about mental health when your cultural background doesn’t offer a lot of language or precedence for that kind of self-expression. I like to make films that can serve as blueprints for practicing self-acceptance, and I think that Prasanna shows us exactly that in such a beautiful, witty way.

Your Turn: What did YOU think of this film?

4 Comments

  1. Sarah

    I appreciate anything that attempts to lessen the stigma of mental health. I agree with the narrator, “I was unwell” and “I was mentally unwell” should get the same reactions. But I admit to not knowing what to say when someone shares their mental health struggles. This film sheds light on that. I will try to do better.

    Reply
  2. Sassy

    I felt all his sadness x10

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I can relate to the sense of being alone and feeling like no one understands.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I feel like lots of people are experiencing depression and sadness and know what it’s like, however because of that I don’t want to share about mine and possibly add to what they’re going through or act as if more than my share of help. So somehow, even though I know depression is a common experience and lots of people would be understanding, I still feel alone.

    Reply

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