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Break The Room Vancouver

04sep(sep 4)7:00 pm08(sep 8)11:59 pmBreak The Room Vancouver7:00 pm - 11:59 pm (8)

Room Vancouver

Event Details

Vancouver is hosting the first-ever Break The Room outside of the United States. Launched by Paul Feig's digital production company Powderkeg, Break the Room, headed by founder and producer Sameer Gardezi (Modern Family, East of La Brea), approaches content creation by incubating writers rooms comprised of underrepresented scribes and community leaders with the goal of putting marginalized voices in control of representing each projects’ community and ideas. The first Break The Room session was hosted October 2018 and there have been 6 other writers’ rooms thus far.

Break The Room is running in Vancouver from September 4-8th and will be hosted by local production company Dunya Media and presented through the support of TELUS STORYHIVE. 5 local writers have been invited to participate. Below is a brief background on both these local organizations and the writers involved:


  • Kashif Pasta is an accomplished South Asian creator from Surrey who has written, directed and produced various projects including a five-episode web series with TELUS STORYHIVE titled Welcome to Surrey and brought Hasan Minhaj’s one-man show Homecoming King to Vancouver
  • Lawrence Lam is a Richmond-based filmmaker, director and editor with a diverse list of projects including docu-dramas, music videos and short films. He was awarded the 2018 Talent to Watch Award at the Whistler Film Festival and was a participant in the 2017 Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Raised in North Vancouver, Nessa Aref is a gifted writer, director and producer with her most recent project, Human Resources shortlisted for the Sundance New Voices Lab. She also produced FREAKS, a 2018 TIFF selection and worked on the production set of Kim Possible.
  • Montreal-born Omari Newton is an actor, writer, slam poet who is currently based in Vancouver as a funded Artist in Residence with Playwright.He was nominated as best support actor for his work in the Centaur Theatre’s production of Blue Orange.
  • Shyam Valera is a Burnaby creator and actor known for his work in Welcome to Surrey and Gemini. Welcome to Surrey was nominated for 3 Leo Awards and won Best Web Series in the South Asian Film Festival of America.

Dunya Media

Founded in 2016, Dunya Media is a Vancouver-based production company that empowers people of colour to tell stories that drive social change. Led by producer Shyam Valera and director Kashif Pasta, the team has created award-winning entertainment such as webseries ‘Welcome to Surrey’ with TELUS STORYHIVE. Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Homecoming King: Vancouver’, and various Fortune 500 companies around the world to transform how diverse audiences see the world and their place it in.


Since 2014, TELUS STORYHIVE has proudly provided mentorship, long-term support and resources for creators across BC and Alberta to grow their careers and empower them to amplify their stories to inspire audiences around the world. From first-time to established creators, STORYHIVE works with storytellers at all stages of their careers.

STORYHIVE has since administered over 1,100+ grants, earned 8 million+ views online and on video-on-demand. STORYHIVE also supplements mentorship with training opportunities such as business affairs and audience-building workshops, as well as access to professional development and networking opportunities, such as festival passes. Training and education is offered to STORYHIVE creators online and in-person.

Representatives available for interview:

Megan Lau - Communications, Engagement and Equity Manager at TELUS STORYHIVE Kashif Pasta – Co-founder, writer, producer at Dunya Media and Break The Room participant Shyam Valera – Co-founder, writer, producer at Dunya Media and Break The Room participant Sameer Gardezi - Head writer and producer of Break The Room Any of the participating writers shown above



4 (Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8 (Sunday) 11:59 pm


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