Exploring Montreal's rich music culture through raw portraits of local artists, filmmaker Timothy George Kelly highlights a host of factors that have contributed to the divide between anglophone and francophone music scenes.

Through candid interviews from the bedrooms, barstools, bathrooms, rooftops and workplaces of local musicians, Kelly presents a view of artists' survival tactics, philosophies and struggles as they manoeuvre the linguistic divide in an already inhospitable music industry.

"Our generation is more educated and less employed. Now, you can have a Master's degree and still be earning minimum wage. That's why I don't feel scared about being a full-time artist." - Artist/Musician Chloe Lum in, A City Is An Island

Promoters, venue owners and journalists describe the evolution of the storied and prolific Montreal music scene, as well as how local independent communities support the smaller festivals and venues that are its lifeblood.

Featuring performances and appearances by Mac DeMarco, Patrick Watson, Colin Stetson, Braids, Sean Nicholas Savage, Dishwasher, Cadence Weapon, Beaver Sheppard and Tony Ezzy, among others.


Martin Cesar, a.k.a. Dishwasher, in A City is An Island (Timothy George Kelly/Parabola Films)

The documentary airs as part of the Absolutely Quebec series' fourth season.

A City is an Island airs Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. on CBC Television