This spring, Greater Good ran its first-ever happiness video competition, inviting submissions from the 400-plus students enrolled in “Human Happiness,” a UC Berkeley psychology class taught by Greater Good Science Center Faculty Director Dacher Keltner.

A scene from Bill's Story, the winner of our happiness video competition.

We asked the students to produce a short video illustrating at least one of the key concepts covered in “Human Happiness.” The videos had to be short, draw on the material they covered in class, and answer the question, “What makes you happy?”

We received 60 submissions from more than 100 students—and we’re now pleased to present the winner:

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Bill’s Story, produced by students Jessica Berrie, Stephanie Rotter, Kara Torbert, and Katey Watry.

Bill’s Story is a charming short starring a cast of paper dolls. Our judges thought it was a clever and creative illustration of a key scientific finding: that social connections, not wealth or status, are the key to happiness. Plus, it made good use of the bittersweet score from the Pixar film Up.

Watch Bill’s Story below, and definitely also check out the runners-up and the other finalists that earned an honorable mention.


Want more happiness? Learn more about our happiness video competition, including our incredible panel of judges. And if you’re a student or faculty member at another school, email us if you’re interested in bringing a similar happiness video competition to your community.

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