Someone Lives Here

Thursday, February 29
The Screening Room
4:00 pm
Friday, March 1
Baby Grand
4:00 pm

A film that’s rich with insights and empathy, Zack Russell’s documentary provides a uniquely intimate view of a major news story that came to encapsulate the challenges faced by Toronto over its unhoused population. He does so by spotlighting the efforts of Khaleel Seivwright, a local carpenter whose campaign to build small houses for those in need earned both international attention and – after initial enthusiasm by municipal officials — the wrath of those who deemed the growing encampments in Toronto parks to be unsafe. Though the gradual souring of Seivwright’s dream to provide a better option than the existing shelter system can make for dispiriting viewing, Russell’s film is suffused with a sense of hopefulness, especially when it comes to the things that can happen when the needs of society’s most disadvantaged are truly heard and considered.

Director: Zack Russell

Language: English

Runtime: 95 minutes

Zach Russell, director

Writer and filmmaker Zack Russell rose to fame with his award-winning 2015 short film She Stoops to Conquer, which received the Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short Drama in 2016. Transitioning from theatre collaborations, most notably with Sook-Yin Lee on Unsafe for Canadian Stage in 2019, Zack has also directed the acclaimed short film 7A and episodes of the web series True Dating Stories. Zack is from Toronto, Canada, and his film credits include television and narrative shorts that have been shown at prestigious festivals such as TIFF, SXSW, VIFF, and New Orleans. His documentary debut, Someone Lives Here, won the Rogers Audience Award at the 2023 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, marking yet another achievement in his long career.

 

Khaleel Seivwright, carpenter, activist 

Please note: Khaleel Seivwright will be in attendance for the Q+A on Friday only.

Khaleel Seivwright is a Canadian carpenter, podcast host and homelessness activist known for his construction of homeless shelters. In fall 2020, Khaleel Seivwright shot to fame as the vigilante carpenter building compact, insulated dwellings for Toronto’s unhoused community in parks and ravines. After raising over $200,000 CAD through a crowdfunding campaign, Seivwright built over 100 shelters with a crew of 40 volunteers before the City of Toronto filed an injunction to stop the construction of the shelters, which brought the project to a halt.

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