Jean-François Lesage sees his neighborhood as one big open air studio. He shoots only by night, drawn to the light of street lamps, flashlights, and the moon's glow. He lived in China for six years, where the courage of Chinese independent filmmakers inspired him to make his own films. In 2004, he directed his first roaming essay on love in Beijing, entitled Sweet Nights Sour Nights. Then in 2009 Jean-François co-directed How can you tell if the little fish are happy? with his brother Philippe Lesage, a feature that chronicles a summer in the deep suburbs of Beijing. A Mile End Tale is his first film shot in Montreal.