AUCKLAND | 2018 Film Fest Finalist | "Happiness Only Real When Shared"

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“Happiness Only Real When Shared” | Erik Patak | University of Rochester | IES Abroad Auckland, Fall 2017

In Erik’s words: “What really makes study abroad worth it? When I made the decision to study abroad, I was in it for the awesome hikes and natural beauty of New Zealand. I thought the hard part was going to be meeting people and adjusting to a new place. By the end of my experience, my perspective had shifted. Though I did awesome treks through the backcountry and saw the most beautiful sights I've ever seen, it was the people I traveled with which made studying abroad a real adventure. Chris McCandles, immortalized in the book and movie "Into the Wild", famously is quoted with "happiness only real when shared." To be sure, you can appreciate being alone, but sharing a memory with someone else makes it that much more special. And, in the end, I found that saying goodbye to the wonderful people I met in New Zealand was harder than walking away from any great hike. People make the place.”


“Makes me wish I had more than two thumbs to stick up. This is a smart and entertaining film that shows real talent and skill. A lot of work went into this -- and pre-planning, since the narration was not added later but shot on location and knew where it was going. Wonderful variety of camera techniques and tricks. Excellent editing. Loved the maps, the music choices, the cloud montages. The ending ranks as one of the best 90 seconds of vacation clips. The film and the on-screen filmmaker exhibit a confidently warm and goofy charm.”
—Willard Huyck (Writer, Director & Producer, Academy Award Nominee, IES Abroad Paris Alumnus 1965-66)

“This video. Wow. It has so much depth that I needed to watch it more than once. The diversity of shots is overwhelming and the sound choice is very fitting. The quality of the video is of great caliber and its message is honest and humble. The fourth wall break was appropriate and needed. Theme development and parallelism gave momentum to the film and made the viewer engaged the entire video.”
— Ismael Byers (2017 Study Abroad Film Festival Grand Prize Winner)

Learn more about our Study Abroad Film Festival and vote for this film as your favorite until November 5th! – http://www.IESabroad.org/FilmFest


At IES Abroad, we know study abroad. Every day we see how studying abroad changes students' lives. As a not-for-profit organization that puts purpose before profit, we're proud of our legacy and leadership in the study abroad field.

Learn more at http://www.IESabroad.org.

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