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  • Written and Directed byTally Abecassis
  • Director of PhotographyClaudine Sauv?
  • Sound RecordistFran?ois Gu?rin
  • Additional SoundPierre Bertrand, Martyne Morin
  • Edited byOana Suteu
  • On-line Editing and Colour CorrectionSt?fanie Gauthier, Guillaume Millet
  • Split Screen VisualsKarim Charlebois-Zariffa, Pascal Brousseau
  • Sound Design and Sound EditingLuc Raymond
  • MixJean-Pierre Bissonnette
  • Original MusicJean-Philippe Goncalves, Alex McMahon
  • Production ManagerIan Quenneville
  • Produced byNathalie Barton

Produced by


Produced with the financial help of

Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry

Quebec (Film and Television Tax Credit - Gestion SODEC)

Rogers Documentary Fund

Canada (The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit)

SODEC Soci?t? de d?veloppement des entreprises culturelles ? Qu?bec

and the collaboration of




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No matter what a person likes to collect (wedding cake ornaments, miniature toy trains, dinosaur sculptures), anyone who has amassed a large collection of tchotchkes will instantly fall in love with a Canadian documentary entitled "Unlikely Treasures". Written and directed by Tally Abecassis, this delightful indie gem should not be missed. (….) At a mere 52 minutes in length, "Unlikely Treasures" contains more joy, curiosity, and appreciation of the past than you'll find in most films. George Heymont - The Huffington Post


festival Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2011

G?meaux Awards Nomination for Best Editing: Documentary 2011

Sidewalk Film Festival 2011

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2011

San Francisco DocFest 2011

First Person Festival 2011

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2012

Statement of intent

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I never had an official collection, but somehow I always felt like a collector. I grew up going to garage sales every weekend with my mom and I can’t go by a flea market without stopping to have a look. Basically I have a collector’s soul without the “stuff” to go with it.
There are items that “call out to me” as Marilynn Gelfman Karp says in the film. I’ve dabbled in tea towels, even browsed for them on the Internet. I’ve forced myself to walk away from kitchen canisters I liked, telling myself I don’t have the space or need. The difference between me and the people in the film is that I walk away; a true collector wouldn’t. And somehow, I always felt that I should walk away, that collecting was something I didn’t want to get into because I couldn’t see its redeeming qualities.
Working on the film introduced me to people who were more passionate about collecting than I could have imagined. And more than that, their thoughtfulness about design and the history of objects showed me what collecting can be. For them, it is a personal creation, imaginative and inspired.
After hearing the thinking behind their collecting, I feel relieved. I’m not alone with my tendencies. I may be less obsessed, but amassing things might just be a part of human nature. And it doesn’t have to be baseball cards, artwork, or other items that are deemed “valuable”. Those little collections that seem meaningless are worth preserving.
Now I’m free to buy as many tea towels as I like. And believe me, I have been. 

Tally Abecassis

Short summary

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UNLIKELY TREASURES is about people who collect unexpected things like clothespins, platform shoes and discarded teatags, taking you on a trip inside their homes, their minds and their drawers of stuff. There is method to their madness and this film will show you why.

Long summary

Collectors, archivists and obsessives:  there is method to their madness and this film will show you why. UNLIKELY TREASURES features people who collect unexpected things like clothespins, platform shoes and discarded teatags, and intimate discussions about the compulsion to collect and the urge to create order out of chaos. You think staplers aren’t worth collecting? Think again. 

You’ll meet:

Dorothy Globus, a curator at New York’s Museum of Arts & Design who has hundreds of collections… including staplers. Her loft full of objects is a treasure trove and a testament to the design of everyday things.

Billy Mavreas, whose Montreal store houses everything from his collection of old electronics manuals to his binders of doodles. Is it junk or is it art?

Kyle Supley, a collecting savant whose main interest is household electronics — everything from clocks to toasters. He has even been repairing clocks for jewelry stores since he was eleven years old.

Marilynn Gelfman Karp, New York author of In Flagrante Collecto, whose collections of tiny found street objects are transformed into beautiful spheres.

Plus stops at the City Reliquary in Brooklyn, where collectors bring their objects to be displayed for all to see, the New York flea market where collectors find things they never even knew they wanted, and Greensboro, North Carolina, where one woman’s three-storey collection of stuff has been transformed into spectacular works of art. 

UNLIKELY TREASURES will take you on a trip to meet fascinating characters, getting inside their minds and their drawers of stuff.