• Director

    Julian Kim & Peter S. Lee

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2018, 98 min

  • Category

    Feature Narrative

  • Format

    Digital (screening) – RED (shooting)

  • Festival Year


Cast: Charles Ryu, HYANGHWA LIM, Yeena Sung, Yun Jeong, Donald Chang
Crew: Producers: Julian Kim, Peter S. Lee, Kat Kim – Screenwriters: Julian Kim, Peter S. Lee, Kat Kim –
Email: swallowtailstudios@gmail.com
Web: koreanamericanstory.org/happy-cleaners-film/

When the Choi family lose their dry cleaning business, they learn to love each other to survive the crisis and heartaches that they cause each other.

JULIAN KIM (Co-Director & Writer), 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’ will be his feature film directorial debut. His quirky compartmentalizing work ethic comes as no surprise to his colleagues as he enjoys long walks inside the Container Store, Muji’s packaging aisle, and building his Legos in a very linear manner. PETER S. LEE, (Co-Director & Writer) is a film director and producer, whose mission is to always be authentic and to expose the truths. 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. He has helped create numerous narrative short and feature films, documentaries, and several film and TV projects telling the stories of undervalued Americans. In his free time, Peter enjoys adventures and spontaneous road trips with his wife.

Filmmaker’s Note

Koreatowns exist all across our country. They are nestled in major cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Dallas, and of course, our beloved New York City. As Korean-Americans, we have called this country our home for over 100 years. However, we have never really felt like true members of the family, but mere guests in someone else’s house. Our stories remain untold. What do you know about us? Who are we? How will others know about us? We are here to unapologetically tell those stories. We want to provide a snapshot of “that” life, “that” voice, and “that” narrative – “that” which the broader population might not know about. Through this film, we want to be the voice of the Korean-American community, and act as a conduit in telling its story. In doing so, we are memorializing our presence and our importance in this country.