H Is for Happiness

Das Blubbern von Glück
“I worried my family had forgotten how to be happy. Happiness seemed to have emigrated to another place – and left no forwarding address.”

Young Candice Phee finds herself on an adventurous mission when, as part of a school project, she resolves to become a peacemaker in her quarrelsome, grief-ridden family. She is doggedly enthusiastic – and often unintentionally comical – as she devotes herself to making others happy. Her new schoolmate, Douglas Benson, believes that he has come from another dimension, but he turns out to be an unexpected ally and an ardent admirer. Based on Barry Jonsberg's novel “My Life as an Alphabet”, theatre director John Sheedy's film adaptation portrays all the colourful facets of life between a fantastical, magical forest and small-town conservatism. From A to Z.
by John Sheedy
with Daisy Axon, Wesley Patten, Richard Roxburgh, Emma Booth, Joel Jackson, Deborah Mailman, Miriam Margolyes
Australia 2019 English 103’ Colour recommendation: 8 years and up


  • Daisy Axon (Candice)
  • Wesley Patten (Douglas Benson)
  • Richard Roxburgh (Jim Phee)
  • Emma Booth (Claire Phee)
  • Joel Jackson (Rich Uncle Brian)
  • Deborah Mailman (Penelope Benson)
  • Miriam Margolyes (Miss Bamford)


Director John Sheedy
Screenplay Lisa Hoppe based on the book “My Life as an Alphabet” by Barry Jonsberg
Cinematography Bonnie Elliott
Editing Johanna Scott
Music Nerida Tyson-Chew
Sound Design Chris Goodes
Sound Gavin Repton
Production Design Nicki Gardiner
Costumes Terri Lamera
Make-Up Karen Sims
Assistant Director John Fairhead
Casting Jane Norris
Production Manager Jane Sullivan
Producers Julie Ryan, Tenille Kennedy, Lisa Hoppe

Produced by

Happiness Film Productions PL

John Sheedy

After studying at Melbourne’s National Drama School and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, the Australian director worked with several renowned theatre companies before becoming artistic director of the children’s theatre company Barking Gecko Theatre. Under his direction, the company created several award-winning productions including adaptations of the well-known Australian children’s books “Storm Boy”, “Jasper Jones” and “The Rabbits”. His first short film Mrs McCutcheon screened worldwide at over 140 festivals and won numerous awards. H Is for Happiness is his debut feature film.


2017 Mrs McCutcheon; short film 2019 H Is for Happiness

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020