Someone Lives Here – Directors Statement:
In October 2020, I saw a news story about a local carpenter building tiny, insulated
shelters for unhoused people living in parks. I had never thought about making a
documentary, but for some reason I was struck with an image: a tiny shelter, perched on a
hill, in a blizzard, with a solitary voice coming from inside. A poetic image. Romantic,
peaceful… and incredibly na’ive. While many who lived in the tiny shelters may have
experienced some increased level of peace and security, there is nothing peaceful or
romantic about living in a box, in a city park, in the middle of winter. And there is nothing
romantic about Toronto’s failing shelter system and the way our city – and society at large
– treat people who don’t have housing.
The past two years have been eye-opening. I never anticipated the amount of violence,
death, and pain I would encounter, following Khaleel and some of the residents of his tiny
shelters. The learning curve was steep. But the community of people living in
encampments, and those who supported them, were incredibly generous collaborators.
This is my first documentary and the subjects in the film guided me through it. They were
patient teachers and I am lucky to know them. Most of all, I learned about my own values
as a filmmaker. The relationships I made while filming soon became more important to me
than the film itself. Looking back, I think the film is all the better for it.
Thanks for watching,