During Asian Heritage Month, Kulea Culture Society presents Stories from the Silk Roads, a four-day event of music and film to celebrate the rich heritage of Canadians with roots in the Asian continent.

The Silk Roads were a system of caravan routes crossing the Eurasian continent from the Mediterranean Sea to China. It influenced the emergence and development of trade and cultural ties between people and statehoods located along the way and beyond. The routes carried goods, ideas, people across the continent and the sea from China, India, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Syria, Turkey among others to the Mediterranean and the West. Just like on the Asian continent, we see different Asian communities living across Canada today. These cultures have developed their distinct identities, arts and histories through interaction and communication with each other in Canada. Stories from the Silk Roads highlight diversity and harmony through arts and culture.

Launch Concert on May 8th

at Hermann’s Jazz Club between 7-9pm
Featuring Qui Xia He and André Thibault, from Silk Road Music

With an introduction to the history of the Silk Roads

Silk Road Music takes audiences on a cultural journey, showcasing the musical prowess: Qiu Xia He, a virtuosi of the Chinese pipa, and the multi-instrumentalist Andre Thibault on Guitar, Middle Eastern lute and others. The pipa, with its expressive range, serves as the focal point, bridging musical traditions from around the world. Qiu Xia He’s journey mirrors the explorations of ancient Chinese travelers, revealing the universal language of music. Their shared passion has led the duo on tours worldwide, captivating audiences from Montreal to London, from France to Philadelphia, and from British Columbia to Hawaii. They have performed alongside symphony orchestras, including the Victoria Symphony of BC. Through Silk Road Music, Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault beckon listeners on a musical adventure, exploring music woven by the pipa’s strings. Experience the cultural exchange of the Silk Road.

Films at the Vic Theatre between May 9 – 11, 2024

May 9th at 5pm
To Live To Sing

by Johnny Ma (China/Canada) | 100 minutes | 2019
with English subtitles

Introduction by Dannie Wang

Zhao Li is the manager of a small Sichuan Opera troupe, living and performing together in a rundown theatre located in the outskirts of Chengdu, China. When she receives the notice of demolition for the theatre, Zhao Li hides the news from everyone else, fearing that this could spell the end of her opera troupe: besides the physical demolition of their space, it’s the life of her “family” that is at stake. As she struggles to search for a new theatre for them to both sing and live in, the opera and its fantastic characters slowly begin to seep into her real world…

May 9th at 7:30pm
All that Breathes

by Shaunak Sen (India) |94 minutes | 2022
with English subtitles

Introduction by Shivam Patil

As legions of birds fall from New Delhi’s darkening skies, and the city smolders with social unrest, two brothers race to save a casualty of the turbulent times: the black kite, a majestic bird of prey essential to their city’s ecosystem.

Winner – 2022 Best Documentary at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.

May 10th at 5pm
City of Wind

by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir (Mongolia) | 103 minutes | 2023
with English subtitles

Introduction by Dr. Charles Krusekopf

A spiritual shaman is a crucial member of the community, the one who everyone depends on when in need of moral and spiritual guidance.
What happens when that shaman is a 17-year-old high school student who must balance his profound Spiritual responsibilities while also juggling another life – that of a high school student – working hard to success in the cold, callous society of modern Mongolia. Introducing Ze, 17-year-old gentle Mongolian shaman…

May 10th at 7:30pm

by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan) | 120 minutes | 2022
with English subtitles

Introduction by Shivam Patil

Joyland explores the many sides of love and desire in a patriarchal society. Gentle and timid, Haider (Ali Junejo) lives with his wife Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), his father, and his elder brother’s family in Lahore, Pakistan. Following a long spell of unemployment, Haider finally lands a job at a Bollywood-style burlesque, telling his family he is a theater manager, when in actuality, he is a backup dancer. The unusual position shakes up the steadfast traditional dynamics of his household and enables Haider to break out of his shell. As he acclimates to the new job, Haider becomes infatuated with the strong-willed trans woman Biba (Alina Khan) who runs the show—an unforeseen partnership that opens his eyes and ultimately his worldview, in ways both unexpected and intimate.

Winner- 2022 Cannes Film Festival – Queer Palm – 2022 Cannes Film Festival

May 11th at 2:30pm
About Dry Grasses

by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey) | 3hr17 | 2023
with English subtitles

Introduction by Deniz Ünsal

Samet, a young art teacher, is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events, he can hardly make sense of, he loses his hopes of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in. Will his encounter with Nuray, herself a teacher, help him overcome his angst?

Winner – 2023 Best actress award Cannes Film Festival

May 11th at 7:30pm
Bundle of shorts by Asian-Canadian independent filmmakers

Introduction by David Geiss, CINEVIC


by Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller (Palestinian-Canadian) | 15 minutes | 2022

A closeted Arab wholesale perfume seller, attempting to mask his identity with excessive amounts of Polo Sport adjacent cologne, is knocked off centre when a charming customer sees through his act.

The Gold Teeth

by Alireza Kazemipour (Afghan-Iranian-Canadian) | 15 minutes | 2022

SAHRA, an Afghan refugee girl in Canada asks an Iranian ex-dentist HAMED to extract her father’s gold teeth before they bury him.

Hope and Grace

by Louisa Phung (Vietnamese-Canadian) |15 minutes | 2020

While driving to the airport, a 1st generation Vietnamese Canadian woman, recounts to her daughter the story of how she was given her name.


by Kent Donguines (Filipino-Canadian) |15 minutes | 2022

Paco is a Filipino immigrant living in Canada, trying to make ends meet so he can make a better life for his family in Manila. While he spends his days as a janitor, his nights are spent scraping dollars together to re-enroll in university. He carefully balances family and pride until his wife asks for a monetary favor.

My name is Arnold

by Arnold Lim (Korean-Canadian) | 16 minutes | 2023

A Korean-Canadian boy struggles adapting to his new life after moving with his single mother to a small, rural B.C. Community in the early 1990’s.


by Hiromu Yamawaki (Japanese-Canadian) | 7 minutes | 2023

Mei lives in Vancouver with her father, Tatsuya. Their long-awaited trip to Japan was cancelled due to Tatsuya’s work. Mei is disappointed and a tension rises between father and daughter. A traditional Japanese custom, Okuribi, creates an opportunity for reconciliation.

Our Supporters

We thank to all of our supporters for making this event possible!

REP Here in Canada

We thank to Advisory Committee for the film selection: Danyang Wang, David Geiss, Martin Bunton, Shivam Patil, Tzu-I Chung, Yasser Abdelrahim