Kickstarter Pick of the Month: The Happiest Place

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Each month, your friends at Paste scour Kickstarter to find projects worthy of your support and love. Support independent art today by becoming a backer, and spread the word, why dontcha?

In 1972, a man named Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who was Bhutan’s fourth Dragon King (and by the way, has there ever been a cooler-sounding title to aspire to?) declared that henceforth Bhutan would be governed by a commitment not to ever-increasing GNP (gross national product), but to ever-increasing GNH (gross national happiness). It was a radical concept, and has guided governmental and cultural movement int he country ever since. As a result, Bhutan is often called “The Happiest Place in the World.”

Filmmaker Ben Henretig, fascinated by this concept, decided to make a documentary about four Americans setting off to do something never before done. In 42 days, they would cross the entire country, 482 miles worth. By foot.

Featured in the pages of Forbes and GOOD magazines, the film has blown away its original $45,000 Kickstarter goal, but with just over a day left, it’s approaching its top stretch goal. Why not help make it happen, and maybe learn a little bit about yourself along the way?

Although it’s hard to imagine a better reward than simply learning about how to be happy, there are some more tangible rewards offered that are also pretty cool. Among the coolest — at the $500 level, you get an exclusive team photo book from the trek that’s not available any other way.

To support The Happiest Place, go here.

Also notable for this month, the following projects are listed in alphabetical order:

1. Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa
Kaufman is, of course, the writer of two of the coolest, smartest, most mindbending films of our time, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is his first stop motion film.
Coolest reward: A set of storyboards from a scene in the film, signed by Kaufman. For only $75! Amazing.

2. Finding the Funk
Look at it this way — even if the filmmakers don’t have anything interesting to say at all, it will be worth watching this film just for the toe-tapping soundtrack. But with Nelson George involved, I’m betting the film will have plenty of intellectual meat to chew on.
Coolest reward: For $2000, you get a track of your music remixed by Arthur Baker. Maybe you’ve heard of other artists he’s worked with, like Afrika Bambaataa and New Order. Ring any bells?

3. Happy Hour: Martinis & Secrets
From mindblowing to toe-tapping to heartbreaking. Narrated by Julianne Moore, this documentary explores issues of memory and childhood sexual abuse.
Coolest reward: For $200, a VIP invitation to the launch party in New York City.