How "Happy" Are You?

Roko Belic's film, Happy - which won the Audience Prize at Mountainfilm this past year - discusses international levels of happiness. Here is a chart rating some country's gross national happiness.


Mean Happiness
For decades, the World Database of Happiness has tracked how happy people are - not at all happy (1), not very happy (2), quite happy (3), or very happy (4). As it turns out, most of us are mostly happy, even when things aren't going so well. Here's a look at how happy some people said they were (on average) over the last 30 years.

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To Watch: Mountainfilm Festival Favorite "Pickin' & Trimmin'"

Filmmaker Matt Morris has brought a few of his short docs to Mountainfilm: History Making Farmer Author on the Move in 2009 and Mr. Happy Man in 2011. Now his first one - Pickin' and Trimmin' from 2008 - can be seen online here.

Pickin' & Trimmin' from Matt Morris on Vimeo.

How Can You Be Sure Your Documentary Will Have The Greatest Impact?

At Mountainfilm, we look for films that have impact and now, there is a new study by the Center for Social Media about just that. This is a five year evaluation, funded in part by the Ford Foundation, of the best ways to make sure social issues documentaries reach and impact an audience.

"People come in as participants in a media project and leave recognizing themselves as members of a public—a group of people commonly affected by an issue. They have found each other and exchanged information on an issue in which they all see themselves as having a stake. In some cases, they take action based on this transformative act of communication.

This is the core function of public media 2.0 for a very simple reason: Publics are the element that keeps democracies democratic."

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One Day on Earth

One Day on Earth is a compelling, collaborative project, pulling together the efforts of individuals around the world.

On October 10, 2010 (10.10.10), across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and inspired citizens recorded the human experience over a 24-hour period and contributed their voice to the largest participatory media event in history.

Finalists in PUMA.Creative Impact Awards

Finalists have been announced for the first PUMA.Creative Impact Award, a €50,000 award to honor the documentary film that has had the greatest social impact since its release in the last 3 years. The money is intended to help the continuation of the film's campaign work.

PUMA.Creative Impact Award 2011 from Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation on Vimeo.

'The Last Mountain' Featuring Mountaintop Removal Activist Maria Gunnoe

The Last Mountain, a film about mountaintop removal which prominently features 2011 Festival special guest Maria Gunnoe, opened this month in Washington D.C. and New York and is screening in theatres around the country throughout the summer.

The documentarty, and Gunnoe, were recently profiled on

Every day the detonation of four million pounds of explosives echoes through the West Virginia mountains as a small army of companies lays bare the coal formed under the mountaintops over 200 million years ago. Like all wars, even environmental ones, there's collateral damage. 

"It's like living in Afghanistan or Pakistan," says Maria Gunnoe, whose childhood home where she still lives is just below ground zero for the Jupiter Mine's explosive mountaintop-clearing operations in Boone County.

Watch "The Most Dangerous Man in America" Online

The PBS series POV is marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers with a special opportunity to watch "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" online.

You can watch the entire film on the POV website until Tuesday, June 14, at 11:59 PM PST.

Film synopsis:

Terra Blight: The Hazardous Side of Technology

Ana Paula Habib films in the Agbogbloshie dumpsite in Accra, Ghana.

Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets... we're in constant pursuit of the latest that technology has to offer. But as with anything, keeping up to speed with technology comes at a cost.

In his upcoming feature-length documentary, Terra Blight, Mountainfilm 2010 Commitment Grantee Isaac Brown explores America’s consumption of computers and the hazardous waste we create in pursuit of the latest technology.

The small group of dedicated filmmakers that have been working for the past few years on this film are in post-production mode, and they're in need of support. Help them raise the funds they need to finish this interesting project here.

Mountainfilm Preview 2010: The Cove

Now that we’re in the countdown to this year’s festival, we’re sure you want to check out what films we’ll be featuring. As the festival starts this Friday, this is the last trailer we'll be posting - it's time for the films in real life! Also check out the film schedule on our website. Today we’re featuring The Cove. The 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary went to this film, a story that brought audiences to tears at last year’s Mountainfilm, where it showed once in a surprise screening.

Support 'Crude' Filmmakers in Fight Against Chevron

We believe in supporting independent filmmakers that work on important causes, which is why we want to alert your attention to what's happening with the documentary film Crude: The Real Price of Oil. From the Crude blog: