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Happiness at LA honour for Irish film

AN Irish short film will be featured at next year's prestigious Beverly Hills Film Festival.

My Happiness, which tackles the sensitive issue of suicide, was the brainchild of Dublin screenwriter and actor David Gilna (24).

"It's been picked up for next February already, it's an honour really," he told the Herald. "The director Glenn Gannon lives in LA and he is friendly with the former president of Paramount Pictures Frankie Bland, who helped this along.

"He sent the short film to the board members and it got the green light for next year. They gave us great feedback and we'll be flying over in September or October to discuss more options."

Although Gilna has previously written for Fair City and contributed to various different TV projects in recent years, this marks his first foray into the film world.

Fair City star Jenny Kavanagh and actress turned businesswoman Rachel Kavanagh star in the flick, alongside Stephen Russell and former Miss Ireland Amanda Brunker.

"I wrote the script and it was funded by my local Fingal County Council," said David. "We were blessed to have such an strong cast of actors, crew and musicians."

My Happiness is a short drama, examining the 'picture perfect' life of a young man who appears to have it all -- a beautiful girlfriend, a joyful son and a group of loyal mates.

But over 24 hours, his apparently insignificant choices will change the lives of all those who are close to him.

"I've already been affected by suicide and I'm only 24. It's such an important social issue that needs to be highlighted," said David. "More people die here from suicide than from drugs or road deaths. We don't do well with mental health -- we seem to think that by sweeping it under the carpet it will go away."