The Happy - "Astrid"


Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020


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On February 4th The Happy made its online debut at Film Daily. This hilarious short film follows the misadventures of Par, a bewildered Indian-American from Texas and New Jersey who is mistaken for something of a swami as he searches Los Angeles for his own fulfillment. Parekh wrote, directed, produced, and stars in the eight-minute comedy, which also serves as the pilot for a web series based on the lovelorn and spiritually-lost Par.

After bumbling through an awkward conversation with his ex, our protagonist stumbles into a wayward flyer that, like falling leaflets from a rescue helicopter, offers him salvation…in the form of a free hug (this is LA, not Saigon). What unfolds next is reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film Brazil (in which a government worker swats a fly which falls into his typewriter resulting in a typo that leads to the arrest of the wrong man). In The Happy, due to a house number’s missing screw, Par lands not at the house of free hugs, but rather at the apartment of a self-obsessed, new-age actress Astrid desperately seeking her own transcendental happiness.

Astrid, who has been expecting her Past Life Regression Therapist, opens the door to find the Indian-American Par before her (not as he is, in his jeans and t-shirt, but as an ashram guru bathed in a golden aura). She instantly mistakes him for her new therapist, and he becomes her unsuspecting savior. As our silent, meat-loving hero anticipates his hug, his quest for fulfillment is hijacked by the chakra-focused, militantly-vegetarian stranger. Using cleverly-chosen music and sound effects straight out of a spaghetti western, Parekh brings anticipation, suspense, and surprise to a zany, one-sided conversation. 

The Happy parodies LA’s fascination with rediscovery and spiritual enlightenment as a disharmonious mixture of self-reflection and self-aggrandizement, a place “where everybody talks and nobody listens.” In the film’s LA, absurd human tendencies to over-mystify just about everything and mankind’s tendencies to typecast just about everyone are depicted with humor.

The Happy, An Absurdist Short Film By Filmmaker Par Parekh 



Written, Directed, Produced, & Edited by Par Parekh 
Co-Directed by Rebecca Feldman
Starring - Par Parekh & Sherra Lasley With Cenan Pirani as The Skateboarder
Producer - Kelsey McManus
Director of Photography - Favienne Howsepian
Production Designer - Emmy Eves
Gaffer - Nina Ham & Jessica Pantoja
Additional Production Design - Laura Barr-Jones
Sound - Delroy Cornick & Christian Lainez
Production Assistant -  C. Leigh Goldsmith
Animal Trainer - Joel Norton & Amanda Posen

Visual Effects - Electric Theatre Collective
Visual Effects Producer - Serena Noorani & Adriana Wong
Visual Effects Compositor - Gretchen Capatan
Colorist - Kaitlyn Battistelli

Audio Post Production - One Thousand Birds
Sound Designer & Mixer - Andrew Tracy

Title Design & Illustration - Adrianne Born
Title Animator - Olivia Rogers
Title Compositor - Matt Andrews

"One Particular Avenue" Written, Performed, and Produced by Chris Ruggiero (C) 2019 by Chris Ruggiero

"Los Angelez" Written by Par Parekh Performed by Par Parekh, Miles Jay, Rod Castro, Luke Notary, Zóra Urbanyi Produced by Miles Jay (c) 2019 by Par Parekh

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