Doc follows old-fashioned Montreal shop owners over 10 years

An insightful and whimsical account of a photographer and his assistant, a young mother and Korean immigrant hardware store owner, and an elderly watch repairman trying to survive changing times in Montreal.

Tally Abecassis's feature documentary airs on July 6 at 7 p.m. ET on CBC Television

Tally Abecassis's feature documentary explores small business ownership in a rapidly-changing neighbourhood. (Tally Abecassis)

Small Wonders is a playfully framed and edited character-driven documentary about three people who run small businesses in Montreal neighbourhoods.

We follow a photographer and his co-dependent assistant; a young, female Korean immigrant hardware store owner and an elderly watch repairman over the course of 10 years. We witness the risks and consequences of the subjects’ intuitive decision-making and explore the value of entrepreneurial grit.

The film is also a colourful reflection of old-fashioned shop owners and how their cultural influence in Montreal neighbourhoods fares against the tides of gentrification. Directed by Tally Abecassis, the doc has enjoyed a successful festival run and excellent reviews. This will be its TV premiere. 

Abecassis's documentary films have played at festivals such as SXSW, Full Frame and the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, and have also aired on television around the world.

In addition to her film work, Abecassis produces radio documentaries and published Barbershops, a book with photographer Claudine Sauvé. She is also the curator and host of This Really Happened, a live non-fiction storytelling event.