Categories: 2021 Season ALCHEMY, San Diego's Most Unique Events, The History of Joy, Vanguard Culture Events

The History of Joy – World Premiere

Inspired by the 8 pillars of joy outlined in The Book of Joy – by HH the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Doug Abrams, this film welcomes viewers to take an unforgettable theatrical journey through moments of everyday magic and extraordinary possibility.

Written by award-winning poet laureate nominee Gill Sotu, “The History of Joy” is a 4-part series of cinematic performances inspired by real-life stories of struggle, beauty, and triumph. Produced by Vanguard Culture, in partnership with The Rosin Box Project.



The Book of Joy suggests that joy is not an external thing to strive for, but rather something that lives within us and which “can be accessed at any time in spite of life’s inevitable suffering.”

The History of Joy was produced by Vanguard Culture, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing San Diego’s creative industry workforce. This project employed a total of 37 creatives and was comprised of 62% BIPOC (Black & Indigenous People of Color), including 2 trans womxn. In addition to this full-length feature film, Vanguard Culture partnered with 22 arts organizations and facilitated dozens of conversations about the themes of the film with some of San Diego’s most notable creatives in dance, theatre, opera, puppetry, visual arts, and more.

ABOUT THE SCREENWRITER: Gill Sotu is a navy veteran, a multi-faceted poet, playwright, musician, DJ, and performing artist. He is a two time Grand Slam Poetry Champion, two time RAW Performing artist of the year, and a three time TEDx San Diego presenter. Currently, he is a teaching artist and a commissioned playwright with The Old Globe Theatre, a program director and teaching artist with Intrepid Theatre, Creative Director for TEDx San Diego, as well as the Artist In Residence at Makers Church. He has been commissioned to produce original pieces for leading arts and community organizations such as: The San Diego Symphony, The Unity Way of San Diego County, Feeding America, SD Fringe Fest, and the San Diego Opera to name a few.

With additional support by Jack Lampl.

VANGUARD CULTURE is an inclusive 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing San Diego’s Creative Industries. We provide quality arts journalism, cutting edge events, and professional development that create arts jobs, bring diverse communities together and inspire collaboration among industry professionals from the visual, performing, and culinary arts.

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.