Paolo Piangino is an unremarkable, short, happy man. He lives with his cat and he likes to cry – because his tears are his happiness. When he is sad, his tears cheer him up, and when he is happy they make him even happier.
The townspeople watch with fascination as one day Paolo’s tears make red flowers bloom wherever they fall. These tears make Paolo famous. The people are thrilled – there is media hype – and everyone wants to invite Paolo into their home, hoping that he’ll shed a few tears for them.
But soon all the buzz is too much for Paolo. He secretly leaves the town, leaving behind only a couple of flowers. The people of the small town begin to cry bitterly of sadness. Who knows – maybe one day their tears will be tears of happiness?
Paolo’s Happiness – based on the children’s book Paolo’s Glück by Sandra Luchsinger – is a parable of our fast-paced and hectic world, which leaves little to no room for quiet moments. On the contrary, the media are always on the lookout for events that they can turn into a spectacle – and individual happiness is often secondary. But Paolo successfully manages to avoid all this. This story touches me deeply. I am convinced that all children will understand it and that it can encourage them to show their feelings. Crying is a relief: it’s not only an expression of pain, sadness and weakness – people can also cry because they are happy, like Paolo. It is my goal to tell Paolo’s story with a lot of charm, humour and empathy as puppet animation. The heart of the book’s illustrations will still be recognizable in the design of both puppets and sets. That this film will be realized without dialogue is a special challenge for me.