In the summer of 2021, Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter, decided to build tiny homes for Toronto’s homeless population. Soon afterwards, the city told him that he wasn’t allowed to build them, citing safety issues, despite a lack of available shelter beds. Someone Lives Here, which won the Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs 2023, is deftly told by first-time documentarian Zack Russell, who captures this Kafkaesque story in a humane and empathetic way. We see how people living in the tiny homes were harassed by some members of the public who were worried they would bring down the area’s property values. Police-enforced evictions reach a dramatic climax as organizers in favour of the tiny homes lock arms in the face of violence and arrests. An important story for our time, as housing insecurity across Canada reaches new heights and people look to find solutions in the face of bureaucratic road blocks.
Audience Award, Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs 2023
Series Media Partner
William Goldbloom Marianna Khoury, Tinu Shina, Will Lomoro
Zack Russell, Andrew Ferguson, Matt King, Marianna Khoury
Zack Russell was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He has directed and written for television, and made two award-winning narrative shorts. His first short film, She Stoops to Conquer, premiered at SXSW and went on to win the 2016 Canadian Screen Award. His work has been screened at film festivals around the world, including TIFF, SXSW, VIFF, and New Orleans. Someone Lives Here is his first feature documentary.
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Someone Lives Here
In the summer of 2021, Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter, decided to build tiny homes for Toronto’s homeless population. Soon afterwards, the city closed him down. An important story for our times of housing insecurity.