Special Presentation: Private Screening of Happy Cleaners

Special Presentation: Private Screening of Happy Cleaners

We are excited to share a special presentation of Happy Cleaners - winner of the CAAMFest 2019 Audience Award for Best Narrative and the VC Media’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2019’s Emerging Filmmaker Award. 

Happy Cleaners is a snapshot into the day to day lives of the Choi’s, a Korean American family, and their dry cleaning business in Queens, NY. As you follow each character, you begin to explore the complexities of what it means to be an immigrant, the frustrations that their children face, and the realization that achieving the American dream is harder than it seems. 

Koreans and Korean Americans have called the US their home for over 100 years, yet their stories remain untold. With KoreanAmericanStory.org as the executive producer of the film, Happy Cleaners offers an introspective view of the immigrant experience that is often ignored by mainstream media and society. 

Learn About Happy Cleaners Film


Mr. and Mrs. Choi own and operate Happy Cleaners, the family dry cleaning business. Mr. Choi has been working at the cleaners for seventeen years, and was fortunate enough to take over the business. Though they have been doing this menial work for many years, they work diligently to support themselves and their children -- of whom they have high hopes and aspirations. The family dry cleaning business - the very source of the family’s income as well as the symbol of all their hopes - is in jeopardy of loss, and the Choi Family members must react. Quickly.

Event Details

Watch an exclusive private screening of Happy Cleaners over the weekend of June 12-14. Join fellow Columbia alumni in a discussion about the film with the Executive Producer and Film Makers on Tuesday, June 16. 

Private Film Screening Dates: Friday, June 12 - Sunday, June 14. Registrants receive a password and link to watch the film.

Discuss Happy Cleaners With The Executive Producer and Film Makers: Tuesday, June 16. Registrants receive a Zoom link for the event.

Discussion Time: 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free. We encourage you to visit and make a donation to https://koreanamericanstory.org/ for generously sponsoring this private screening for Chicago Columbia Alumni.

Email Discussion Questions: Email questions you’d like the Executive Producer and Film Makers to discuss by Monday, June 15 by 5:00 p.m. to Dr. Chris Stacey at [email protected]

Discussion Participants

HJ Lee | Executive Director and Co-Founder of  KoreanAmericanStory.org

HJ Lee (CC ‘84) graduated Columbia with a degree in East Asian Studies. After a successful career in business development for an audio technology company, he co-founded KoreanAmericanStory.org with his wife, Theresa Choh-Lee, with a mission to empower the Korean American community through stories. Lee is also an active runner, wine enthusiast, and an experimental cook. You can learn more about HJ, HERE

Julian Kim | Co-Director & Writer

Julian Kim born and bred in New York, pursued a career in the arts at an early age despite the Korean-American norm. An animator-to-be turned filmmaker, Julian always felt passionate about telling moving and creative stories. He works at ABC News Digital as an Editor and Producer and 'Happy Cleaners' is his feature film directorial debut.

You can learn more about Julian, HERE

Peter S. Lee | Co-Director & Writer

Peter grew up in a blue-collar, immigrant family in Flushing, Queens. Watching families survive in the New York hustle gave Peter a personal understanding of social and financial struggles. Realizing the lack of representation in mainstream media, Peter found his calling in creating a platform for telling stories of the invisible and the marginalized. 

KoreanAmericanStory.org’s mission is to capture, preserve, and share the stories of the Korean American experience. Through storytelling, generations have the ability to broaden their understanding of their own identity and allow themselves to be more inclusive to the diversity within their own community. We want Korean Americans to engage in intergenerational dialogue and preserve their history. 

June 16, 2020 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Video Conference

Chicago, IL
United States

Chris Stacey

Will you come?