Fundamentally Happy

︎︎︎Trailer ︎︎︎Streaming

Twenty years ago, Habiba and Eric were neighbours. When Eric revisits her home to find her still living there with her husband, what seems like a friendly reunion turns into the gradual revelation of a painful secret from the past. An unflinching look at the consequences of abuse, Fundamentally Happy explores, without judgment or condemnation, critical issues such as trust, memory, relationships and consent. This is a film adaptation of Fundamentally Happy, a 2006 award-winning play by Haresh Sharma and Alvin Tan.


Habiba Hj Salim

Adibah Noor

Eric Sim

Joshua Lim


Directed, Produced and Edited by

Tan Bee Thiam,
Lei Yuan Bin

Written by

Haresh Sharma,
Alvin Tan


Ken Hui,
Lee Chatametikool

Associate Producers

Dan Lim,
Glen Goei

Production Manager

Colin Huang

Director of Photography

Christopher Doyle

First Camera Assistant

Shyan Tan

Second Camera Assistants

Jonathan Goh,
Lau Hong Hu,
Lee Feng Nian,
Louise Evangeline Ng


Chia Meng Chee,
Colin Peh,
Jon Keng,
Jaryl Lim,
Khairul Ami


Daryl Ong,
Derrick Loo,
Dazfirul Haniff,
Jason Ye,
Johan Sue

Production Designers

Lei Yuan Bin,
Vivien Koh

Make Up

Jeffrey Linus Lee

Production Sound Mixer

Jenn Hui

Boom Operator

Susanne Soon

Data Wrangler

Liao Jiekai

Post Production

White Light,
Lee Chatametikool,
Max Tersch,
Gigs Siripun


Chaitawat Trisarnsri

Sound Designer

Maiken Hansen

Foley Artist

Lim Ting Li

Foley Recordist

Filipe Paszkiewicz

Music Composer

Teo Wei Yong

Special Thanks

The Necessary Stage


Original title

Fundamentally Happy

International Title

Fundamentally Happy


73 min / Colour

Aspect Ratio


Screening Format



5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo

Year of Release



English, Malay



Country of production

Hong Kong

Production Company

13 Little Pictures


White Light

“With its wrenching psychodrama and scalpel-edged dialogue, the film’s moody cinematography and varied close-ups bring viewers further into the story’s heart of darkness, breaking down the distance of the stage and cinema's fourth wall, and creating its own form of detachment. An unflinching look at the consequences of abuse, Fundamentally Happy explores without judgment or condemnation critical issues such as trust, memory, relationships and consent.” Philip Cheah

“An intelligently written and beautifully acted film that manages to treat a highly controversial subject both artfully and compassionately. The director is adept at exploring changes in mood, reflection, light, and space.”
Chris Fujiwara

“A remarkably skillful and humane treatment of the original play.” Professor Kenneth Paul Tan

We imagine a cinema that embraces the theatricality and that distills the essence of an original text. That this is also cinema – that is the possibility that we are after, as we adapt a play that already has a very strong and clear vision: two persons trapped in a house of their memories, two persons having a conversation after not seeing each other for 20 years, their recollections the mirror image of the other’s – images of the same thing but from laterally opposite perspectives.

We are interested in making a film about the portraits of Eric and Habiba. Faces are mysterious and truthful at the same time. When you look at someone long enough, you can see their stories. We seldom put both characters in the same frame – you see a person and hear the other offscreen. You do not know if they are talking to each other or to themselves. We created these offscreen spaces to hold their years of anger, betrayal, fears, and longing. To make it a little kinder, gentler for Eric and Habiba. In making this film, we hope to examine the complex issue of abuse with the grace of love.



Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2015


Hanoi International Film Festival 2016


SalaMindanaw Asian Film Festival 2015
Honorable Mention by Audience, Thessaloniki LGBT Film Festival 2016

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