My ultimate goal in film-making
          is to make a film which includes
          a smiling face snap of every
          single human being in the world.

          yoko ono


Join in with #smilesfilm


What to do:

Take a photo of a smiling face.

Upload it to Instagram & tag it #smilesfilm, or
Upload it to Twitter & tag it #smilesfilm, or
Upload it to the #smilesfilm pool on Flickr.

#smilesfilm on Instagram

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» Tag your Instagram pictures #smilesfilm

Message from Yoko Ono

Dear Friends,

Our smiles change moods and opinions as they radiate positive energy out into the world, creating joy, healing and peace, changing the Universe for the better.

People from cities and countries around the world can freely upload their smiles from their camera, phone, tablet or computer – to the world and its people.

Each time we add our smiles to #smilesfilm, we are creating our future, together.

Give us a smile!

I love you!

Yoko Ono
London, 19th June 2012

#smilesfilm on Twitter

» Follow @smilesfilm on Twitter

Website Visitors Map

Map stats running since 18 February 2015


#smilesfilm is a worldwide online participatory artwork by Yoko Ono that reflects her pioneering vision of the power of mass participation.

Originally conceived in 1967 as a way of connecting people across the world, this 21st century crowdsourced artwork taps into the transformative potential of the smile as Yoko Ono invites everyone to upload images of their smiles to Instagram & Twitter, accompanied by the hashtag #smilesfilm, so that we may all enjoy our smiles, and the empowering sense of smiling together.

Win a #smilesfilm T-Shirt

Enter our draw for a chance to win one of 33 Yoko Ono’s #smilesfilm T-Shirts every month. Winners are picked at random and will be announced on Twitter & Facebook.

About #smilesfilm

Original 'Smiles Film' script by Yoko Ono, 1967


My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. Of course, I cannot go around the whole world and take the shots myself. I need cooperation from something like the post offices of the world. If everybody would drop a snapshot of themselves and their families to the post office of their town, or allow themselves to be photographed by the nearest photographic studio, this would be soon accomplished.

Of course, the film would need constant adding of footage. Probably no-one would like to see the whole film at once, so you can keep it in a library or something, and when you want to see some particular town’s people’s smiling faces you can go and check that section of the film. We can also arrange it with a television network so that whenever you want to see faces of a particular location in the world, all you have to do is to press a button and there it is. This way, if Johnson wants to see what sort of people he killed in Vietnam that day, he only has to turn the channel. Before this you were just part of a figure in the newspapers, but after this you become a smiling face. And when you are born, you will know that if you wanted to, you will have in your lifetime to communicate with the whole world. That is more than most of us could ask for. Very soon, the age may come where we would not need photographs to communicate, like ESP, etc. It will happen soon, but that will be “After The Film Age”.

Yoko Ono,
London ‘67

(excerpt from ‘Grapefruit‘ by Yoko Ono)

SMILE PIECE by Yoko Ono (1967)


Send a smile to your friend
so he/she can smile, too.

Think of a way to do it.

You could send a photo that says ‘smile’,
or a picture, a story, or a piece of pie,
but specify that it’s a smile you’re passing on.

Ask him/her to do the same:
to pass on the ‘smile’ in his/her own way.


Film No. 5 'SMILE' by Yoko Ono (1968)

In August 1968, Yoko Ono directed two films, shot in the same afternoon in the garden of John Lennon’s house ‘Kenwood’ in Weybridge. The first film was called Number 5, but it has also been known as SMILE.

A special high-speed camera was used to film John’s facial expressions as he stuck out his tongue, wiggled his eyebrows and gave fleeting smiles over 3 minutes. The camera was able to take 20,000 frames per minute, which enabled the film to last 52 minutes. Yoko initially considered making Number 5 four hours long, but this was considered impractical and the finished movie ran for 52 minutes. It premiered at the Chicago Film Festival in 1968.

Yoko Ono – Film No. 5 (1968)
Director: Yoko Ono
Starring: John Lennon
Camera: William Wareing
Sound: John Lennon
Light: Garden
Music by John Lennon
Instruction: bring your own instrument.

Yoko Ono talks to Sir David Frost about her concept for the 'Smiles Film', 17 December 1971

Yoko: “I was going to ask everybody to take a smile – a snap shot of a smiling face of him or herself – and they would send it to the local post office and the government would have a whole pile of snapshots of smiling faces.

And then we would have an arrangement with the TV so that when somebody wants to see something, like say if Nixon decides that he wants to see what sort of Vietnamese people he killed that day instead of “2,000 Vietnamese, so and so place”, you know.

(Instead he could) say: “Well what sort of 2000 Vietnamese were they?”

And just sort of looking at the TV, you know. Turn the channel on and you see these smiling faces.

So after this film you become a smiling face instead of part of a figure.

Like on a newspaper, everyday on a headline it says “2,000 people killed, 150 burned” and we are used to thinking of people in terms of figures.

But if we had a file of peoples smiling faces then that means that everybody will have a chance when they are born. They know that just once in their life they might be able to communicate with the whole world.”

Interview with John & Yoko, Rolling Stone, 23 November 1968

Rolling Stone: Do you think Yoko’s film of you smiling would work of it were just anyone smiling?

John: Yes, it works with somebody else smiling, but she went through all this. It originally started out that she wanted a million people all over the world to send in a snapshot of themselves smiling, and then it got down to lots of people smiling, and then maybe one or two and then me smiling as a symbol of today smiling-and that’s what I am, whatever that means. And so it’s me smiling, and that’s the hang-up, of course, because it’s me again. But they’ve got to see it someday-it’s only me. I don’t mind if people go to the film to see me smiling because it doesn’t matter, it’s not harmful. The idea of the film won’t really be dug for another fifty or a hundred years probably. That’s what it’s all about. I just happen to be that face.

Yoko: The films SMILE and TWO VIRGINS were done in a spirit of home movies. In both films, we were mainly concerned about the vibrations the films send out-the kind that was between us. Imagine a painting that smiles just once in a billion years. John’s ghostly smile in Film No. 5 might just communicate in a hundred years’ time, or maybe, the way things are rolling, it may communicate much earlier than that. I think all the doors are just ready to open now.

SMILE & 'Instant Karma!', 11 February 1970

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you!”

Having recently cut off their hair for Peace and sporting armbands saying ‘PEOPLE FOR PEACE’, John & Yoko visit the BBC to film two takes of the song ‘Instant Karma!’ for the TV show ‘Top Of The Pops’.

John & Yoko are accompanied by Klaus Voormann on bass and Alan White on drums, together playing as ‘The Plastic Ono Band’.

For one of the takes, Yoko, as an artistic statement, wears a ‘Kotex’ (a woman’s sanitary towel) as a blindfold and holds up cards marked BREATHE, SMILE, PEACE, LOVE and HOPE. In a second take, she was knitting.

Yoko: “I was blindfolding myself with a kotex and knitting something that was going nowhere. I was doing that while a man symbolizing our future was singing “WE ALL SHINE ON”. Yes. We will shine, but for that we have to take the blindfold off and stop knitting what we don’t know what we are knitting. It was my way of showing what we women must free ourselves from…”

How To... SMILE by Yoko Ono, 24 July 2009

Yoko Ono by Matthu Placek 18 Feb 2013

Dear Friends,

I told you to smile when you are feeling down.
However, there are steps you should know.

First you go to the mirror and smile to the mirror in anyway you can.
You probably will not feel any different.
Smile a few times that way.

If that is not enough, smile a few times every morning when you see the mirror.
That won’t do much, either, right?
Because there is a way to smile and change not only your mood, but make your body healthy and young, and change your life for the better!

1) Smile just by twisting the ends of your mouth up.
That doesn’t get you anywhere, I bet.
But that’s a start.

2) Smile with your eyes and mouth.
That’s better.
Your smile will make somebody feel good, maybe.

Add a little giggle, and they will either think you’re crazy or like you for it.

3) If you really want to smile so it will make yourself feel good as well –
you have to smile from your heart and your lungs.

Don’t worry, if you are ending the smile with a quiet sound like ummm.

4) The next step will make you feel still better.
Smile from your solar plexus.
This has an added benefit of making your solar plexus healthier, and active.

5) The next step is to smile right down from your stomach.
When you do this, make sure to breathe deeply and pull your stomach muscles in as you smile.

6) The next step – yes, there are more steps! – you should smile from your knees.
Again, just pull your knees in – as you pull your stomach in.
At the same time you use your lungs, heart and solar plexus.

You’ll see that by then, you are smiling with your whole body.
You won’t forget to smile with your eyes and mouth at the same time.
It will happen anyway.

That’s how you will get the true benefit of smiling.
How about giving a smile to others?
Should we forget that?

Don’t worry.
They’ll notice your smile.
Only, this time, you’ll feel good, too.
Very, very good!

I love you!

Yoko Ono
24 July 2009

Smiling Face Film group started on Flickr, 28 July 2009

The first photo uploaded on Social Media was on Flickr, from Yvette R., on 28 July 2009.

See more at the Flickr #smilesfilm photo pool

Message from Yoko Ono, 3 April 2010

Dear Friends,

I just watched the #smilesfilm! It blew my mind! In fact, tears ran down my face and there was no stopping. I just didn’t know that there are still so many beautiful people on Earth, since i am reading the papers every day of murders, bombings, and major pollutions caused and hidden to us by corporations.

In fact, the film made me cry all the way. It’s so beautiful. And I feel I know each one of you. Yes! Didn’t we all meet sometime in our lives? We know each other right?

I say thank you, thank you, thank you, to all participants of this film. Thank you for having bothered to take your time to send your smile! This is a film that will give such a joy to the world, forever. Like the song, IMAGINE, this film should be put in a capsule and send it out to the stratosphere and to the Universe!

Meanwhile, we will add this film to IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, together with the wishes coming from all over the world.

Again, thank you!

I love you!!!

Yoko Ono

3 April 2010

'We’re Going Upstairs To Smile': Yoko Ono interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, September 2010

Hans Ulrich Obrist: And that is the famous smile piece?

Yoko Ono: Yes.

HUO: It’s a very early piece.

YO: You know right now they have it on the internet. They have a website just called #smilesfilm and people are sending their smiles to it.

HUO: But what is so interesting is that I was always thinking of this smile theme of yours, because there is this great interview with John Lennon which I found on the internet, from Rolling Stone, and John was saying that basically you wanted to have one million smiling faces from all over the world. And in some kind of way I was thinking…

YO: Now it’s happening…

HUO: That you invented the internet 40 years before. Because that was 42 years ago on…

YO: And now they’re adding German smiles! Contemporary German smiles, on the second floor.

HUO: So basically the archive of smiles grows wherever you go, whenever you do a show. It’s a growing archive…

YO: Well I don’t have to even do a show. When you visit the website, you see that people send their smiles to it from all over the world. When I first thought about it I thought the concept is good, but its not interesting for me to just watch people smile, so I didn’t click into the smile website until about a year ago. Then I clicked in, and I kept looking at all these people smiling, and I started crying, you know, because right now this world is so desperate for a smile, and they were all sending in their smile, like this could be their last smile or something, and I just felt very touched by it.

HUO: It’s also like it’s a big planetary sculpture which could change the world, because with all these smiles you can make the world a better place.

YO: I know, isn’t that great? Just recently, I think about a year ago actually, I explained how to smile, not just with the mouth, not just with the mouth and eyes, but eventually with your whole body. It’s really good.

HUO: It’s a whole.

YO: It’s a very important one. I was talking about my experience, not being able to smile, because John passed away and I just looked at the mirror and I saw this face with the mouth kind of turning down, and I thought, this is not good. So I tried to smile with my mouth, and then with my mouth and eyes. Then one day I knew that I was smiling with my whole body.

HUO: I also love it when you say you should smile from your knees.

YO: Ah, yeah, yeah, isn’t that great?! So anyway, this is a very strong show for me in Berlin, the strongest in a way because all this stuff that’s happening in the gallery, and then in the end we end with a smile.

#smilesfilm installation at Haunch of Venison, Berlin, Germany, 10 September 2010

YOKO ONO: Das Gift

Haunch of Venison
18–21 Uhr, Heidestrasse 46, 10557 Berlin, Germany
10 September – 13 November 2010

#smilesfilm installation at Gallery 360°, Tokyo, Japan, 4 December 2010

Yoko Ono: SMILE

Gallery 360°
5-1-27-2F, Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan 107-0062

#smilesfilm installation at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, India, 13 January 2012

Yoko Ono: Our Beautiful Daughters

Vadehra Art Gallery
D-178, Okhla Phase 1, New Delhi 110020, India
13 January – 10 March 2012

#smilesfilm installation at Serpentine Gallery, London, 19 June 2012

Yoko Ono: To The Light

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA, UK
19 June – 9 September 2012
#smilesfilm by yoko ono was a large-scale installation, part of Yoko Ono’s exhibition ‘To The Light‘, at the Serpentine Gallery, London in June 2012 as part of the London 2012 Festival.

More info here.

About Yoko Ono

Working as an artist, film-maker, poet, musician, writer, performance artist and peace activist for six decades, Yoko Ono has influenced generations of artists and received numerous prestigious awards.

In her prolific career, she has embraced a wide range of media, defying traditional boundaries and creating new forms of artistic expression. Born in 1933 in Tokyo, she is a pioneer of conceptual art and her work has been presented internationally in major exhibitions and performances.

Find out more about Yoko Ono at