Audiovisual Design

A Day Off from Being Unhappy

Frederike Scheffer
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Philosophy
Major Audiovisual Design
Year Fourth Year

Nominee Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2019

We must perform, be successful, be social and above all. We must be happy. Being unhappy is not accepted while we sometimes have no control over our state of mind. However, it is still seen as our own responsibility.

My project is about escapism from being unhappy. The collapse of social and peer pressure, the inner fight and knowledge that fleeing the unhappiness feeling will not make you happier in the end. Since the responsibility for our own happiness weighs so heavy, different forms of making our own happiness tangible start to emerge. For example, self-help books are very popular nowadays. Everyone is preoccupied with their persistent wish to be happy and when we are not busy doing this, escapism from being unhappy comes in. My film "A Day Off from Being Unhappy" is an abstract short film in which movement and music draw attention to the feeling of being unhappy and the addiction to desire to be happy.

I long for the past where my pain had not yet existed.


Fenna's relationship has just ended and she needs to pack her belongings and leave. Everywhere in the house, she comes across memories; memories that once made her so happy. Looking back provides temporary relief, but the memories quickly fade and lose their positive effect. Time and again she tries to reclaim that positive experience, but every time it wears off quicker. In this abstract short film full of music and dance, Fenna represents everyone who feels unhappy and gets seduced by external factors that make being unhappy disappear for a moment.

Een Vrije Dag Van Het Ongelukkig Zijn (trailer)

Visit Frederike's website to view her other projects