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Film Review: Sundance Kids – H is for Happiness
by Karen Pecota

Australian filmmaker John Sheedy collaborates with screenwriter Lisa Hoppe and Australian author Barry Jonsberg as he directs his latest narrative H is for Happiness, based on Jonsberg's award-winning novel "My Life As An Alphabet." A delightful film for the whole family about a unique way to problem solve on issues we hold dear with adventure and whimsical comedy.


Twelve-year-old Candice Phee (Daisy Axon) lives in Albany, Australia, located on the country's western coast. A beautiful place for any child to grow-up. Candice is lucky in that sense, but her home life is anything but pretty. Candice longs for her family to experience the happiness that has long been lost due to tragic circumstances. Candice is determined to save her family from the depths of despair.

Candice's teacher Miss Bamford (Miriam Margolyes) assigns each child a letter of the alphabet and asks them to write about something that has happened to them in the past that starts with their designated letter. Candice's parents Claire Phee (Emma Booth) & Jim Phee (Richard Roxburgh), including Rich Uncle Brian (Joel Jackson) have gone astray from happiness and Candice is determined to bring them back.

Candice's unlimited optimism and unique view of the world is shared with the new boy in town, classmate Douglas Benson from Another Dimension (Wesley Patten). The two have their individual trials of adolescence and family heartbreak but their camaraderie and unique approach to problem solving, in order to make their world a better place, is the collaboration both need to address their family issues.

Candice and Douglas take us on a heartwarming journey to discover the reason H is for Happiness.