Filmmaker Eli Jean Tahchi has been named winner of the seventh edition of the Regard sur Montréal residency program. Valued at $75,000, the residency allows him to devote 11 months to the writing, directing, postproduction and distribution of his documentary short, Des voisins dans ma cour.
In this film project, Eli Jean Tahchi takes his inspiration from the fence that separates the Town of Mount Royal, one of the island’s richest districts, from Parc-Extension, a low-income neighbourhood packed with new Canadians, to explore the strange dichotomy between the two areas and their inhabitants. Drawing on aerial photos and immersive shots, the documentary takes viewers into the daily lives of two families. It shows how barriers can cause us to challenge the spaces occupied by others and asks us to think about urban development, ideological resistance and the concept of social hierarchy.
Eli Jean Tahchi
A graduate of the joint program funded by Netflix at Montreal’s Institut national de l’image et du son (L’inis), Eli Jean Tahchi is a director, writer and actor. He studied cinema at the Académie libanaise des beaux-arts and earned a bachelor’s degree in film and television production. In 2011, he settled in Montréal to study cinema at Université de Montréal and later at L’inis, with a focus on directing. Eli Jean Tahchi’s socially engaged cinema is biting, human and loaded with metaphor. Since 2011, he has tackled a growing number of varied and culturally diverse projects.
The residency is offered by the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM), Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) through its Independent Filmmaker Assistance Program (ACIC), in cooperation with Les Films de l’Autre and the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). Designed for emerging artists or first-generation immigrants belonging to a cultural community or visible minority, it showcases culturally diverse artists on the Montreal arts scene, now enriched with an original and topical Regard sur Montréal.