EVENTS

Duration

115 minutes

Genre

Comedy Drama

Authors

Michel Fessler & Henri Roanne-Rosenblatt

in collaboration with Nicolas Steil

Production

Iris Productions (LU), Iris Films (BE), Tu Vas Voir (FR)

Co-production

Belga Productions, RTBF, Voo & BeTv

With the support of

Film Fund Luxembourg
Wallimage
Screen.Brussels
Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique via Belga Film Fund

A STORY
OF LOVE
A STORY
OF LOVES
A STORY
OF LOVES
AND WAR
A STORY
OF LOVES
AND RESILIENCE
A STORY
OF LOVES,
HUMOUR,
AND SPIRIT
A STORY
WHERE LOVE REINVENTS
ITSELF CONSTANTLY
A STORY
OF DAMAGED LIVES
WHERE LOVE
CAN HEAL WOUNDS
A STORY THAT IS MAGNANIMOUS,
HEARTWARMING,
AND UPLIFTING
IN SHORT,
A STORY WHERE ALL’S WELL
THAT ENDS WELL

In the end there is only love that can save us

SYNOPSIS

How can we live with the abandonment of our parents, who are supposed to be there and love us unconditionally?

By inventing another world, a different reality, by living in a lucid dream that is, incessantly and day by day, reconstructed all over again.

It prevents us from thinking about our original trauma, gives us a thirst for life, while approaching others with as little risk as possible.

Saül Birnbaum is a “hidden child”, one of those who, at the age of only 6, had to be separated from his parents to escape the impending Shoah and be sent abroad by a so-called “Kindertransport”, from Vienna to Brussels.

In 1986, Saül is on the path to resilience. He reinvents his life and tries to re-enchant it by opening a delicatessen, unlike any other, where the 7th art of cinema triumphs, through permanent renditions on the stage of this restaurant, every single day. Saül and his protégé Joakin, a young Chilean director who fled from Pinochet, decide to write the story of Saül’s childhood and turn it into a film, allowing both of them to “heal” just a little more.

Alas, love comes knocking on Saül’s door and he is confronted with his past. She loves him, he loves her, she disappears, he loses himself, she comes back to him, he is reinvigorated, she abandons him again, he despairs…

The Way to Happiness is a story that teaches us to never, ever abandon love!

SOME CONTEXTUAL INDICATIONS

How do we survive and overcome past trauma?

Such is the question that lies at the foundation of our main protagonists – Saül, Hannah, Ed, Joakin and his mother Beatriz… who have all experienced trauma they are trying to recover from.

But beyond this, our characters are confronted with the difficulty of forgiveness: will they be able to forgive and forget while moving forward and making peace with their past and the memories that haunt them? That is the question that lies at the heart of The Way to Happiness.

Humour, a vital element

By appealing to humour, the film places itself outside of conventional representations of the Shoah in films. Without nonetheless downplaying the severity of this period, the film produces a shift by relying on an evocation of history, rather than a reconstitution of it. The facts are thus brought to the screen in terms of memories, which are never the exact representation of reality but, just as in a memory, there is a blend of reality and the imaginary.

Cinema – the solidifying element of resilience

Beyond the pleasure of finding and recognising numerous references to cinema throughout the entirety of the film, The Way to Happiness wants to depict cinema as its own character: it is through cinema that the characters meet and connect; cinema is the link between them and the balm that heals their wounds.

… The place where the magic of cinema operates? The Delicatessen NEW MANHATTAN: this temple of the seventh art is the heart of a stirring film in the manner of a musical comedy.

The Way to Happiness, an ode to life and love

The Way to Happiness is a film that deals, above all else, with love(s) – in all its forms.

Whether it is the love between a man and a woman, the love of a father or mother for their biological or adopted children, the love for cinema, friendship … or even self-love: the characters all have this guiding principle in common, which at the end of the day dictates their behaviours. The message of the film thus being that only love can save us.

The Way to Happinessis a film that celebrates life, notwithstanding pain and past traumas.

It is a film that wants to uplift us!

CAST

SIMON ABKARIAN

SAÜL BIRNBAUM

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
L’AUDITION | DIRECTED BY INA WEISSE | 2019
DEUX MOI | DIRECTED BY CÉDRIC KLAPISCH | 2019
LES HIRONDELLES DE KABOUL | DIRECTED BY Z. BREITMAN AND E. GOBBÉ-MÉVELLEC | 2019
REBELLES | DIRECTED BY ALLAN MAUDUIT | 2019
THE SONATA | DIRECTED BY ANDREW DESMOND | 2018
EDMOND | DIRECTED BY ALEXIS MICHALIK | 2018
KABOUL KITCHEN | CREATED BY A. MAUDUIT, J-P. BENES, M.VICTOR | 2012-2017
DJAM | DIRECTED BY TONY GATLIF | 2017
7

PASCALE ARBILLOT

HANNAH MOSKOWICZ

LE CHEMIN DU BONHEUR | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
MISS | DIRECTED BY RUBEN ALVES | 2020
LE MEILLEUR RESTE À VENIR | DIRECTED BY A. DE LA PATELLIÈRE AND M. DELAPORTE | 2019
MON CHIEN STUPIDE | DIRECTED BY YVAN ATTAL | 2019
NOUS FINIRONS ENSEMBLE | DIRECTED BY GUILLAUME CANET | 2019
PAUVRE GEORGES! | DIRECTED BY CLAIRE DEVERS | 2018
LA FÊTE DES MÈRES | DIRECTED BY MARIE-CASTILLE MENTION-SCHAAR | 2018
AURORE | DIRECTED BY BLANDINE LENOIR | 2017
JUILLET AOÛT | DIRECTED BY DIASTÈME | 201
5

DJANGO SCHREVENS

JOAKIN ROJAS

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
BULA | DIRECTED BY BORIS BAUM | 2020
LOLA VERS LA MER | DIRECTED BY LAURENT MICHELI | 2019
JULIAN | DIRECTED BY MAXIME FAUCONNIER | 2018
11.11.18 360 | DIRECTED BY SÉBASTIEN TIXADOR | 2018
11.11.18 VR EXPERIENCE | DIRECTED BY S.TIXADOR AND D. SCHREVENS | 2018
DEAD MAN TALKING | DIRECTED BY PATRICK RIDREMONT | 2012
LA CINQUIÈME SAISON | DIRECTED BY P. BROSENS AND J.WOODWORTH | 2012

ANDRÉ JUNG

EDWARD KIEV

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
WANDA, MEIN WUNDER | DIRECTED BY BETTINA OBERLI | 2020
DE BUTTEK | DIRECTED BY LUC FEIT | 2019
LARA | DIRECTED BY JAN-OLE GERSTER | 2019
SUPERJHEMP RETÖRNS | DIRECTED BY FÉLIX KOCH | 2018
KRIEG DER TRÄUME | DIRECTED BY JAN PETER AND FRÉDÉRIC GOUPIL | 2018
RUSTY BOYS | DIRECTED BY ANDY BAUSCH | 2017
EGON SCHIELE: TOD UND MÄDCHEN | DIRECTED BY DIETER BERNER | 2016
TOUT POUR MA FILLE |DIRECTED BY HANS STEINBICHLER | 2016

MICHEL VUILLERMOZ de la comédie française

ROBERT DE TRÉVIGNAC

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
ADIEU LES CONS | DIRECTED BY ALBERT DUPONTEL | 2020
J’ACCUSE | DIRECTED BY ROMAN POLANSKI | 2019
ALPHONSE PRÉSIDENT | CREATED BY NICOLAS CASTRO | 2017 – 2019
BÉCASSINE | DIRECTED BY BRUNO PODALYDÈS | 2018
KNOCK | DIRECTED BY LORRAINE LÉVY | 2017
AU REVOIR LÀ-HAUT | DIRECTED BY ALBERT DUPONTEL | 2017
MA VIE DE COURGETTE | DIRECTED BY CLAUDE BARRAS | 2016
NOUS TROIS OU RIEN | DIRECTED BY KHEIRON | 2015

ERIC CARAVACA

PIERRE ASLON / DANIEL SILBERSTEIN

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
TOUT S’EST BIEN PASSÉ | DIRECTED BY FRANÇOIS OZON | 2020
LES ÉBLOUIS | DIRECTED BY SARAH SUCO | 2019
HIPPOCRATE | CREATED BY THOMAS LILTI | 2018
GRÂCE À DIEU | DIRECTED BY FRANÇOIS OZON | 2018
AUX ANIMAUX LA GUERRE | CREATED BY A.TASMA AND N. MATHIEU | 2018
UN VILLAGE FRANÇAIS | CREATED BY E. DAUCÉ, F. KRIVINE AND P.TRIBOIT | 2017
L’AMANT D’UN JOUR | DIRECTED BY PHILIPPE GARREL | 2017
L’AMI – FRANÇOIS D’ASSISE ET SES FRÈRES | DIRECTED BY R. FELY AND A. LOUVET | 2016

HELENA NOGUERRA

BEATRIZ ROJAS

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
10 JOURS SANS MAMAN | DIRECTED BY LUDOVIC BERNARD | 2020
AU-DELÀ DES APPARENCES | DIRECTED BY ISERGE BOUCHER | 2018-2019
PLACE PUBLIQUE | DIRECTED BY AGNÈS JAOUI | 2018
BIENVENUE À MIMBARO | DIRECTED BY PHILIPPE LEFEBVRE | 2017
3 MARIAGES ET UN COUP DE FOUDRE | DIRECTED BY GILLES DE MAISTRE | 2016
FISTON | DIRECTED BY PASCAL BOURDIAUX | 2014
LA VIE DOMESTIQUE | DIRECTED BY ISABELLE CZAJKA | 2013
LA CLINIQUE DE L’AMOUR | DIRECTED BY ARTUS DE PENGUERN | 2012

ROXANE DURAN

RACHEL ROSENBLUM

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
L’AMANT | DIRECTED BY NICOLE GARCIA | 2020
RIVIERA | CREATED BY NEIL JORDAN | 2017-2020
DEUTSCH-LES-LANDES | CREATED BY DENIS DERCOURT | 2018
KRIEG DER TRÄUME | DIRECTED BY JAN PETER AND FRÉDÉRIC GOUPIL | 2018
PAULA | DIRECTED BY CHRISTIAN SCHWOCHOW | 2016
EVOLUTION | DIRECTED BY LUCILE HADZIHALILOVIC | 2015
LES TÉMOINS | CREATED BY H. HADMAR AND M. HERPOUX | 2014
LA FAMILLE BÉLIER | DIRECTED BY ERIC LARTIGAU | 2014

RAOUL SCHLECHTER

SAMUEL ROSENBLUM

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
AN ZERO – COMMENT LE LUXEMBOURG A DISPARU
| DIRECTED BY MYRIAM TONELOTTO, JULIEN BECKER| 2021

IO STO BENE| DIRECTED BY DONATO ROTUNNO | 2020
BAD BANKS SAISON 2 | DIRECTED BY CHRISTIAN ZÜBERT | 2020
CAPITANI | DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHE WAGNER| 2019
COWBOYS | DIRECTED BY FREDERIC ZEIMET | 2019
LES SURVIVANTS | DIRECTED BY LUC JABON | 2016
ENG NEI ZÄIT | DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHE WAGNER| 2015

TANIA GARBARSKI

HÉLÈNE SILBERSTEIN

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
ADORABLES | DIRECTED BY SOLANGE CICUREL | 2020
ENNEMI PUBLIC | CREATED BY A. BOURS, F. CASTADOT AND G. DE VOGHEL | 2019
LE GENDRE DE MA VIE | DIRECTED BY FRANÇOIS DESAGNAT | 2018
OLD BOYS | DIRECTED BY TOBY MACDONALD | 2018
LE LION EST MORT CE SOIR | DIRECTED BY NOBUHIRO SUWA | 2017
ESPÈCES MENACÉES | DIRECTED BY GILLES BOURDOS | 2017
LE BUREAU DES LÉGENDES | CREATED BY ERIC ROCHANT | 2016-2017
SUR QUEL PIED DANSER | DIRECTED BY P. CALORI AND K.TESTUT | 2016

NATHALIE LAROCHE

JUSTINE VERREKEN

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
JE NE REVE QUE DE VOUS | DIRECTED BY LAURENT HEYNEMANN | 2020
MARIE-ANTOINETTE, ILS ONT JUGÉ LA REINE | DIRECTED BY ALAIN BRUNARD | 2018
LA CONFESSION | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS BOUKHRIEF | 2016
KING OF THE BELGIANS | DIRECTED BY P. BROSENS AND J.WOODWORTH | 2016
LA TRÊVE | CREATED BY B. D’AOUST, S. BERGMANS AND M. DONCK | 2016
LA CINQUIÈME SAISON | DIRECTED BY P. BROSENS AND J.WOODWORTH | 2012
POTICHE | DIRECTED BY FRANÇOIS OZON | 2010
MATERNELLE | DIRECTED BY PHILIPPE BLASBAND | 2009

MATHILDA MAY

SARAH GLÜCKSMANN

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
JE NE RÊVE QUE DE VOUS | DIRECTED BY LAURENT HEYNEMANN | 2019
ACCESS | CREATED BY V. SOUDJIAN, J. BROKERSS, R. BOYES | 2018-2019
MYSTÈRE À L’OPÉRA | DIRECTED BY LÉA FAZER | 2015
ON SE RETROUVERA | DIRECTED BY JOYCE BUNUEL | 2015
DÉLIT DE FUITE | DIRECTED BY THIERRY BINISTI | 2013
LES INFIDÈLES | DIRECTED BY E. BERCOT, F. CAVAYÉ, A. COURTES, J. DUJARDIN | 2012
UNE VIE FRANÇAISE | DIRECTED BY JEAN-PIERRE SINAPI | 2011
LA FILLE COUPÉE EN DEUX | DIRECTED BY CLAUDE CHABROL | 2007

BRIGITTE FOSSEY

JUDITH ASKELEVICZ

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS  | DIRECTED BY NICOLAS STEIL | 2021
QUARTIER DES BANQUES | CREATED BY F. BERNASCONI, J-M. FRÖHLE, S. MITCHELL | 2019
UN ADULTÈRE | DIRECTED BY PHILIPPE HAREL | 2018
FAUT PAS LUI DIRE | DIRECTED BY SOLANGE CICUREL | 2016
JUSQU’AU DERNIER | DIRECTED BY MIKAËL OLLIVIER | 2014
UNE FEMME NOMMÉE MARIE | DIRECTED BY R. HOSSEIN, D.THIEL | 2013
LA MORT DANS L’ÎLE | DIRECTED BY PHILIPPE SETBON | 2008
L’HOMME EN QUESTION | DIRECTED BY LAURENT PREYALE | 2004
PASSAGE INTERDIT | DIRECTED BY MICHAËL PERROTTA | 2000

PRESENTATION OF THE DIRECTOR

AUTHOR, DIRECTOR :

Nicolas Steil has directed five plays at the theater: Combats by Carlos Battle Jordà (2001), La Jeune Fille et la Mort by April Dorfman (2003), L’Affaire Suberville (2004), Table Rase by Jean-Louis Schlesser (2005) and Central Park West by Woody Allen (2007).

He collaborated as a writer on Andy Bausch’s Club des Chômeurs, Baby(A)lone directed by Donato Rotunno and his own first feature film, Réfractaire, released in 2009. The film has participated in more than thirty festivals international and won six awards. The Way to Happiness is his second feature film.

FILMOGRAPHY

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS | FICTION FEATURE FILM | 2021
THE UNDERCOVER WAR | FICTION FEATURE FILM | 2009

BIOGRAPHY

Nicolas Steil launches his professional career in the 1980s as a print journalist. He carries out numerous field reports, particularly in Lebanon, which encourage him to become a television reporter. Thus, in 1983, he starts working for RTL TV, first as a reporter and later as television news presenter. He goes on to become director and producer of documentaries.

In 1986, he starts his own production company, IRIS PRODUCTIONS, by which he produces and directs documentaries, television programmes, as well as advertising films before moving towards the movies with the production of fictional feature and animation films, as well as documentaries.

Over the years, the IRIS GROUP has grown with subsidiaries in Belgium, Germany and France through Rezo Films.

Nicolas Steil has now produced and co-produced more than fifty films.

IRIS GROUP

IRIS GROUP brings together production and distribution companies in Luxembourg, France, Germany, and Belgium. Today, having curated a reputation in production and distribution, the group has become a staple as a strategic player on the market of European cinema. The origins of the group date back to 1986, when Nicolas Steil founded IRIS PRODUCTIONS, one of the first production companies in Luxembourg.

Iris Group includes IRIS PRODUCTIONS DEUTSCHLAND in Berlin, IRIS FILMS and IRIS FILMS PRODUCTIONS in Brussels. In 2011, the group enters into an equity partnership with REZO FILMS, a well-established distribution company in France since more than twenty years. The distribution company also includes a production department, REZO PRODUCTIONS.

IRIS GROUP has co-produced with French, Belgian, Swiss, Quebecois, Austrian, Italian, German, Dutch, English, and Irish partners. Since a few years, the group has also focused on the production of TV series.

As of today, IRIS GROUP has produced and co-produced more than one hundred works, sold more than 250 films internationally and has distributed more than 300 films in France.

RECENT FILMOGRAPHY

THE WAY TO HAPPINESS (2021)
Long-métrage de fiction réalisé par Nicolas Steil – Iris Group (LU, BE), Tu Vas Voir (FR)

BAD BANKS SEASON 2 (2020)
TV series directed by Christian Zübert – Letterbox Filmproduktion (DE), Iris Productions (LU), Real Film Berlin (DE) – 2020

FAMILLE NUCLEAIRE (2020)
Short film directed by Faustine Crespy – Iris Films (BE)

NEVER GROW OLD (2019)
Feature film directed by Ivan Kavanagh – Ripple World Pictures (IE), Iris Group (LU, BE, FR)

TREMORS (2019)
Feature film directed by Jayro Bustamante – Tu Vas Voir (FR), La Casa de Producción (GU), Iris Productions (LU), Memento Films (FR) & Arte France Cinéma (FR) – 2019

PAUVRE GEORGES! (2018)
Feature film directed by Claire Devers – Mon Voisin Productions (FR), Iris Films (BE), Forum Films (CA)

CLASH OF FUTURES: 1918-1939 (2018)
TV series directed by Jan Peter & Frédéric Goupil – LOOKSfilm (DE), Les Films d’Ici (FR), Iris Group (LU, BE)

JUSTICE_DOT_NET / DARK JUSTICE (2018)
Feature film  directed by Pol Cruchten – Iris Productions (LU), Lyla Films (CA), Ripple World Pictures (IE)

BAD BANKS – SEASON 1 (2018)
TV series directed by Christian Schwochow – Letterbox Filmproduktion (DE), Iris Productions (LU)

STORM (2017)
Feature film directed by Dennis Bots – Phanta Basta (NL), Iris Productions (LU), Bulletproof Cupid (BE)

COLONIA (2015)
Feature film directed by Florian Gallenberger – Majestic Filmproduktion (DE), Iris Group (LU, FR), Rat Pack Filmproduktion (DE), Fred Films (UK)

THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (2015)
Feature film directed by Stephan Rick – Port au Prince Film & Kultur Produktion (DE), Iris Productions (LU)

SUNSET SONG (2015)
Feature film directed by Terence Davies – Hurricane Films (UK), Iris Productions (LU), Sellout Pictures (UK)

BABY(A)LONE (2014)
Feature film directed by Donato Rotunno – Iris Group (LU, BE)

THE UNDERCOVER WAR (2009)
Feature film directed by Nicolas Steil – Iris Productions (LU), Cab Productions (CH)

TECHNICAL CAST

DIRECTOR

NICOLAS STEIL

SCREENPLAY

MICHEL FESSLER
HENRI ROANNE-ROSENBLATT
IN COLLABORATION WITH NICOLAS STEIL

CINEMATOGRAPHER

PIERRE MILON

PRODUCTION DESIGNER

HERALD NAJAR

EDITOR

DAMIEN KEYEUX

MUSIC

KYAN BAYANI

CASTING DIRECTOR

VÉRONIQUE FAUCONNET

COSTUME DESIGNER

ULI SIMON

HAIR & MAKE-UP DESIGNER

KATJA REINERT

SOUND ENGINEER

ALAIN GONIVA

SOUND EDITOR

NICOLAS LEROY

SOUND MIXER

MICHEL SCHILLINGS

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR

LAORA BARDOS

KEY GRIP

JEAN-FRANÇOIS ROQUEPLO

GAFFER

HELDER LOUREIRO ALVES DA SILVA

CHIEF CONSTRUCTION GRIP

SMYGOL DORPHY

PROPERTY MASTER

EMMANUEL POUPARD

COLORIST

PETER BERNAERS

1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

ALEX BROWN

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

NATHALIE NGHET

PRODUCTEURS ASSOCIÉS

ARLETTE ZYLBERBERG
PHILIPPE LOGIE

CO-PRODUCERS

GÉRARD LACROIX
EDGARD TENEMBAUM
FABRICE DELVILLE

PRODUCERS

NICOLAS STEIL
KATARZYNA OZGA

PRODUCTION

IRIS PRODUCTIONS
IRIS FILMS
TU VAS VOIR

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