Hey, Happy!

Director: Noam Gonick
Screenwriters: Noam Gonick

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Noam Gonick creates an outlandish, captivating world of romance and magic in this unique feature. Set in a Winnipeg of the imagination, Hey, Happy! is a queer, contemporary fairy tale of handsome princes seeking each other amid a world of fairies, witches and trolls.

Living in a bleak, industrial landscape, Winnipeg residents are mutually bound up in a state of combined terror and ennui as they await the coming of an enormous flood, which may well obliterate all life. However, for most of the town's citizens, the strain of worrying about the great destruction is just too great when other bigger concerns loom. For sultry DJ Sabu, who's preparing a huge rave on Garbage Hill, this means completing his mission to sleep with 2,000 men. (He's one short of his goal.) His sights are set on handsome, geeky Happy, a "UFO-ologist" who receives transmissions on his boom box from aliens who promise to manifest themselves on earth someday as his love children. Unluckily for Sabu, evil hairdresser Spanky, the self-proclaimed "biggest bitch in the world," emerges as a formidable rival—hissing hapless Happy into submission at his junkyard lair. Voodoo, alien intercession, and love are all brought to bear, ultimately fulfilling the dreams that our heroes have relentlessly pursued.

It's rare that a first feature, even a fantasy, can so brashly sidestep linear logic and deliver such winning entertainment. Gonick's imaginative world is governed by an elaborate and sustained poetic justice in which mythic contests between extreme, archetypical personalities play out with conclusions that seem entirely logical and satisfying! Driven by the music and rhythm of teen rave culture, Hey, Happy! is a bold and stylish film from a considerable talent.

— Shannon Kelly

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]