The Happy Sad Route (And a Comedian) (The Netherlands, 50)

Directed by: Linda Hakeboom

Written by: Linda Hakeboom

Cast: Jan Jaap van der Wal, Marina Orsag, Aleksandar Perisic, Miranda Loncar

In this personal road movie, Dutch stand-up comedian Jan Jaap van der Wal travels through former Yugoslavia. Over the past few years, a small group of comedians have been trying to set up a comedy scene in the region, but it has proven to be quite a challenge: audiences are hard to find, and money seems to be even more scarce. But most importantly, the comedians and their audience all share a pretty tough history to be making fun of. Choosing "differences are funny" as their motto, the up-and-coming comedians in this fledgling comedy scene attempt to get past the taboos and traumas of history. Van der Wal travels to Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet with fellow comedians and to perform there himself. The battles fought by the Balkan comedians urge him to reflect on his own future as a stand-up comedian in the Netherlands.