Screenwest and Screen Australia have announced Australian feature film H is for Happiness will be shot in and around Albany in Western Australia’s Great Southern region later this year.
The Cyan Films’ production which tells the heart-warming story of family and friendship received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with WA Regional Film Fund and Screenwest and was financed with support from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund, Film Victoria and Soundfirm.
H is for Happiness tells the story of Candice Phee – a 12-year-old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world. Set in a small coastal town, it’s about an unflinchingly honest girl’s determination to bring her family back from the brink. Candice is an unforgettable heroine whose exploits will inspire and delight anyone who has faced the trials of adolescence and family heartbreak.
Casting is currently underway, with prolific, award-winning theatre director John Sheedy signed on to make his feature film directorial debut. Sheedy’s short film Mrs McCutcheon had its world premiere at MIFF in 2017 where it won Best Short, and went on to win several awards from festivals around the world in Oberhausen, Hamburg, Rhode Island, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, Cleveland and São Paulo.
“I am thrilled to be returning to WA for my directorial debut. Having spent several years in Perth creating theatrical works for young people and families, it seems very fitting,” said director John Sheedy, who is an alumnus of the MIFF Accelerator Lab emerging screen director program.
“I am equally delighted to have the opportunity to work with producers Julie Ryan of Cyan Films, Tenille Kennedy and screenwriter and producer Lisa Hoppe who has constructed a hilariously quirky and moving script that is sure to resonate with any child or family that feels different. I look forward to re-engaging in the assembly of local talented actors and creatives and spending time in Albany which is the perfect backdrop to bring this story to the screen.”
Based on the celebrated children’s book by Barry Jonsberg My Life As An Alphabet, published by Allen and Unwin, the script by writer and producer Lisa Hoppe was a top five finalist in the prestigious US ScreenCraft Comedy competition in 2017. Lisa will produce alongside Julie Ryan (Hotel Mumbai, Red Dog) and Tenille Kennedy (Slam). Jonathan Page (The Babadook), Bryce Menzies (I Am Mother, Red Dog: True Blue) and Avrill Stark (The Deep) will act as executive producers.