Private Project

Happiness Is Here And Now

Tag-line: Thought they could find happiness, but it's not there. It's here!
This poetic documentary is a non-chronological mixture of monastic life, the presence of two young women and their struggles to find happiness. The film exemplifies the Buddhist meditation practice of being mindful of every little chore that we do including cooking, eating or drinking tea. That way, while following the breathing, one can come back to their true home - their body and appreciate life. During their time staying in the Buddhist retreat of Nhap Luu in Victoria, Australia, the two protagonists had opportunities to overcome their sufferings. This poetic documentary is made to evoke moods of joy, suffering and happiness, rather than proving a point through a traditional linear narrative structure.

  • Georgia Doan
  • Georgia Doan
  • Georgia Doan
    Key Cast
    Key Cast
    Key Cast
    Key Cast
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 19, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • A'Design Award and Competition
    RUNNER-UP in Movie, Video and Animation Design
Director Biography - Georgia Doan

Georgia Doan grew up in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to Sydney, Australia in 2002. In 2012, she decided to become a filmmaker and attend university to study film. During her time as a film student, Georgia was very active in finding her own style and network by participating in different university exchange programs and film projects in different countries such as Australia, the UK and Germany.
Upon graduation, Georgia returned to Australia to direct and produce the poetic documentary Happiness Is Here And Now, which is to be her directorial debut. Georgia is now submitting Happiness Is Here And Now to different film festivals in Australia and internationally.
In 2019, the film obtained Runner-Up status in the Movies and Animation category in the A'Design Award & Competition. This is the second-largest design award in the world, and is held annually in Como, Italy. Georgia is especially passionate about the creative process and artistic aspect of every film project that she has worked on.
Georgia is also a musician, which helps her be more creative in her sound design and in integrating music into her films. Her main career goal is to direct a feature artistic film for a major production company.

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Director Statement

This poetic documentary minimizes narrative focus and places an emphasis on observation and capturing meaningful moments. Therefore, camera work and film aesthetics serve to spontaneously trigger both happiness and suffering responses in viewers. The use of different slow-motion snapshots contributes to the film being mesmerizing, disjointed, disproportionate and often episodic. This leaves viewers with only what they see, hear and appreciate at each particular moment which is the core purpose and message of the film: to live in the 'now' moment, not the future nor the past. Provoked emotions are amplified by coordinated hypnotic sounds and music. Thus, the protagonists and objects featured become something much more artful than they were in their independent forms.
Even though it is an artistic documentary, the practice can be viewed and applied in our everyday lives. It is a guide on how to be contained without exterior indulgence. By using both elaborate visual and sound materials, the film introduces to the general public to not only the fundamentals but also the profundity of Buddhism and the art of being happy.

At the beginning of 2016, I had the opportunity to stay and practice Buddhism in the original Thich Nhat Hanh’s meditation center, Plum Village, located in the south of France. The was an eye-opening experience, and it inspired me to create this poetic documentary. It proved to be very different from what I had known from typical meditation retreats, and the practice of Plum Village guided me back to my own self in a very natural way; by following the in-breath and out-breath in every step that I walk and every activity that I participate in. Ironically, that is the most simple yet effective way of coming back into my true home: my body and mind. From there, inner-communication and healing have opportunities to take place and flourish.

The film is dedicated to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his unique Buddhist meditation practice. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, and is revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment, which is the only way to truly develop peace in one’s self and in the world.