A Portrait on the Search for Happiness

The story of the former diamond-diving village of Port Nolloth in South Africa

A Portrait on the Search for Happiness A desert bordered by a deep cold sea. A torn landscape which hides the purest diamonds on earth deep beneath it. Digging for these diamonds with bare hands day and night, are young men on the frontier of a new diamond rush in South Africa. Hope beckons for the previously drug addicted Vianey who yearns for a better life. Nelson Mandela’s dream urges the homeless cook Patrick on into this new, hopeful future. Only George, the diamond diver, who once was a millionaire, is still hanging on to his memories of a bygone time. A poetic journey through the desert, the wind and the sand.


Reviews and More


A film in grandiose images and very close to its protagonists speculating poetically around human nature - as well as the power of our dreams. - Jan Sebening, Dok.Fest München

A Portrait on the Search for Happiness juxtaposes elegant cinematography and sensitive storytelling with raw truths about today’s South Africa.' - Encounters International South African Documentary Film Festival

A heart-warming journey of hope, resilience and the will of overcoming. - Zubenathi Malothana, Callsheet Africa

The Producers


Benajmin Rost - Director

Benjamin Rost graduated in directing at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2020. After he graduated the Bavarian Academy for Television (BAF) in 2009 he worked as a director for documentary films, including a number of films for Bavarian Television. Before Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg he studied Philosophy in Munich. His films were screened at various festivals including Dok Leipzig, and Max Opüls Preis a.m.m. Since 2016 he is part of the scholarship program of the 'Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes'. From 2017 - 2019 he lived in South Africa and Rwanda to support the launch of the Youth Television Channel 'Iwacu' for the German Developement Organisation (GIZ). Additionally he realised the fiction short film Ella, which was screened on ARTE. His graduation movie A Portrait on the Search for Happiness in South Africa was financed by Mfg and SWR. In 2019 he was participant of the Documentary Campus Masterschool with #Harraga.

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