Written and directed by multi-award-winning filmmaker Shelley Saywell of Bishari Films, Lowdown Tracks is a new and acclaimed documentary film that celebrates the music and stories of those living on the margins of Canadian society. Second place winner of the 2015 Hot Docs Audience Choice Award, Lowdown Tracks has been identified as a highly effective call to action, addressing mental health stigma and issues of homelessness in Canada. The film’s main subjects are talented street musicians and the face of some of Canada’s most vulnerable individuals.

Lowdown Tracks was created in collaboration with Singer/Activist Lorraine Segato. The film features the song ‘Hole in the Wall’, a track from Lorraine Segato’s new CD, along with a soundtrack of music never heard or recorded before, from people who should be listened to.

From folk, punk hobo, Americana, and blues, their music resonates with hard times, eerily resembles past times, and throws a new perspective on our times.

"The songs they’ve written come directly from their experiences – the hell of their lives," says Segato,

who was first exposed to the caliber of street music at a benefit concert for homeless relief.

As our homeless crisis grows, life on the margins threatens more and more people. The causes, from abuse to mental health to simple bad luck, are all touched on in the film. At its heart, Lowdown Tracks is about bringing into focus the heartache and the beautiful potential we should see when we walk by someone on the street. In the end, it is a celebration of the power of music and survival.



“positively brilliant” - Jim Bawden TV Critic
“inspiring” - Toronto StarLinda Barnard on Lowdown Tracks coming second in Audience choice at HotDocs
“when they strap on their guitars — and this is the film’s genius — it’s possible to envision every one of them on a stage in front of hundreds of people. They’re that good.” - Hamilton Spectator
“inspiring ode to the power of music…heartbreaking….the talent is wondrous” - NOW Magazine NNNN
“the stories and songs (reveal that) the raw truth is powerful enough.” - Urban Toronto
“a moving music documentary” - Globe and Mail, 20 Films to See at Hot Docs
“wonderfully moving” - Toronto Sun
“Heart-wrenching.” - Cinema Axis
“Heartfelt and engrossing.” - Wylie Writes
Sean Kelly on Movies – 4.5/5 stars
“Powerful.” - One Movie, Five Views
CHCH News/The Watchlist – Hot Docs Picks: Brigitte Top Ten Music Films to see at Hot Docs

Homelessness, life on the margins, poverty, mental health, social issue, music as healing, music as survival, busking, street soundtracks, punk hobo, singer songwriter, Lorraine Segato, studio recordings, unseen life on the streets.