film news

Passion River acquires distribution rights to ‘Happy Cleaners’


© Jebby Productions

Passion River Films has secured North American rights to Peter Lee and Julian Kim’s “Happy Cleaners.” The family drama is centered around a Korean-American family that is in financial turmoil after the stability of their family cleaning business is threatened. Through this economic hardship, the family learns to bridge the cultural gap between generations in this heartwarming story about survival, love, and adulthood. Millennials Kevin (Yun Jeong) and Hyunny (Yeena Sung) struggle with their Korean-American identity while simultaneously balancing their parents’ high standards of success with the pressures to assimilate to the western world. Meanwhile, their parents (Hyang-hwa Kim and Charles Ryu) battle their personal predicaments of keeping their family and business afloat in New York City. 

The deal was negotiated by Princeton Holt, Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Hewes Pictures and Mat Levy, Director of Sales and Acquisitions at Passion River, Mat Levy. As a result of this deal, Holt remarked, "Happy Cleaners is one of our favorite dramas and we couldn't be more proud to be able to show it to the world and to work with Passion River again."

Lee and Kim noted, “We appreciate this journey with Hewes Pictures, and we are thrilled to have found a home for Happy Cleaners with Passion River. We are excited to share our Korean American experience with a wider audience and we hope that our story will resonate with many others.”

Lee also stated, “We made this film to tell our stories with characters that look like us and live like us in blue collar, working-class families. We wanted Korean American characters that are the heroes of the stories, and characters that matter. The fact that we did not see this in films when we were growing up inspired us to create it when we could.”

Kim added, “We wanted to share our Korean American experience as authentically as possible. We wanted to validate our struggles and celebrate our survival. We made this film for us, our friends and families, and our community with the hopes that our collective experiences have a chance to be seen in a format of a feature-length film.”

Happy Cleaners trailer

"Happy Cleaners" is set to be released early 2021.

film industry network members