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2011 Student Grant Winner

The 2011 winner of the Human Rights Film Series Student Grant competition is:

- Yi Chen, "House of Happiness"

Congratulations to Yi! Thank you for sharing your work with our community and for helping make media that matters.


Still from House of Happiness

SYNOPSIS: "House of Happiness" is the working title of a feature length documentary profiling the residents living in the Wah Luck House of the District's Chinatown. The neighborhood has transformed from an ethnic enclave into a regional nightlife hub. Chinese schools, grocery stores, barbershops, tailor shops, community organizations along with their residents are pushed out as a result of gentrification. The 243 residents living in Wah Luck House today make up about half of the last Chinese immigrants of Chinatown. Through the stories of Mr. Yam Chum Leung and Ms. Tina Xu, the documentary takes audiences on a cinéma vérité journey experiencing the life inside Chinatown. Founders of the Wah Luck House Tenants Association, Mr. Leung and Ms. Xu lead us through a series of events that are ordinary for the residents of Chinatown, but unfamiliar to outsiders.

ABOUT YI CHEN: Yi Chen is a third year MFA Film student currently at the post-production stage of her thesis film. During her time at AU, Yi has worked on projects for PBS, National Geographic, History Channel, Hillwood Museum, Link TV and China Central Television. She has won two TIVA-DC Peer Awards, and had films accepted into DC Independent Film Festival, Our City Film Festival, Heritage Film Festival, and Falls Church Film Festival. Prior she worked at the United Nations Foundation where she produced videos advocating for human rights, clean energy, access to health care, and education for all. She plans to continuously pursue her passion and interest in documentary filmmaking after her graduation in December.