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One to watch: new film 'The Human Shelter'

In a special collaboration, IKEA has funded award-winning documentary maker Boris Bertram's latest project - 'The Human Shelter: An Expedition Into What Makes A Home'. Currently touring the international film circuit, watch the trailer and learn more...
A man and woman dressed in smart clothes dancing in front of a green building.
Award-winning documentary maker Boris Benjamin Bertram.
Meet Boris Benjamin
Boris B Bertram is a documentary maker interested in conflict resolution and humanitarianism. "During my career, i've filmed people fleeing from war and natural disasters, people in motion and without homes," he says. "'Shelter' is the first concept we have of a home. A place where we're supposed to feel safe. That's how the idea for making the film came up."
A girl reading from a book in front of a makeshift satellite and temporary buildings.
Sheltering from conflict
The documentary offers a glimpse into how people live in challenging circumstances, exploring ideas of shelter, home and belonging. In a refugee camp in Arbat, Iraq, one girl shares her poem. "Welcome to my home, everyone's tent, and mine," she says. "Help me, so i can get to my community."
A woman walking through a deserted snowy landscape with a restaurant in the background.
A snapshot of nomadic lifestyles
The film also explores the idea of home beyond a single physical place. In the snow-bound landscape of Kautokeino, Norway, nomadic Sámi reindeer herders describe the transitory nature of their homes. "You can say i have several," says one. "Winter, spring, summer and autumn. There are four places where i move and settle."
A woman playing violin in front of a white man-made structure in a barren landscape.
Life in extreme environments
Even the most challenging natural surroundings and dwellings can become home. In NASA's Mars habitat in Hawaii, a crew live in isolation for eight months on a barren volcano, simulating life on a mission to Mars. "Over time, it just became a very comfortable and familiar space," says one of the crew when they finally emerge from their pod on Exit Day.
A woman taking a picture through a window of a cityscape.
Different urban perspectives
City living is examined from several angles. In Tokyo, a woman has turned her tiny apartment into a photography lab. "I live here on my own, in a dark space with my photos," she says. "Of course, i sometimes feel lonely. But when i devote myself to my work, i forget about myself and kind of transcend. This is important for me, living in busy, noisy Tokyo."
A man in a colourful suit punting on a boat through a floating wooden shanty town.
A look at life on the water
The film reveals alternative ways of living. In a floating shanty town in Lagos, Nigeria, residents discuss day-to-day life. "Sleeping on the water is no different to sleeping elsewhere," says one man, "It has its ups and downs. It's our tradition to always stay close to our relations. That's what i love about living here; i'm in touch with my relatives."