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If You're Happy

NY Premiere

Director: Phoebe Arnstein

United Kingdom, 2023, 18 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Short

Cast:Erin Doherty, Jo Hartley, Emmanuella Cole, Muireann Bird

Crew:Writer: Phoebe Arnstein. Producers: Sophia Gibber, Myles Payne, Scarlett Barclay.


A woman struggles with the pressures of motherhood and uses a childish game at a local baby group to vent her fury, sparking an unexpected chain reaction.


About the director

Phoebe is a filmmaker and photographer spanning fiction, documentary, and commercials. She is known for drawing honest, true to life performances from talent and elevating the everyday to a place that is unique and poignant. She won the Young Director's Award for her documentary WE THE BATHERS, as well as receiving a Vimeo 'Best of the Year' nomination, and her award-winning fiction shorts have screened at worldwide festivals. Prior to all this Phoebe worked in the camera department on prestigious Film & TV productions, often turning the camera truck into her personal production office to get her own projects off the ground (much to the delight of her fellow crew). After putting down the clapper board for good Phoebe was selected by HBO's mentoring scheme and shadowed the lead director on SUCCESSION. She is currently developing her short IF YOU'RE HAPPY into a feature with Film 4.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

Writing IF YOU'RE HAPPY became a refuge during the early days of motherhood. It was a way for me to fight for my visibility and validate the solitary and often surreal moments I experienced as a new mother.

I wanted to make a film that reflected the absurdity and intensity of caring for a newborn child, a film that could speak to a universal truth about parenthood, a film that could make you laugh and cry.

This is a tribute to the strong, funny women who kept me sane during the hardest times, with their explicit candour and wit; "this too shall pass".

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