Expired July 26, 2021 3:45 AM
Already unlocked? for access
This virtual screening is eligible for Indy Shorts Audience Choice Awards voting! 5=excellent, 1=poor Unlock the film to cast your Audience Choice vote.

Perspectives on homelessness in America.

Films: Street Reporter; The Heart Still Hums; Shelter

*Note: Audience Choice voting can only be completed via Internet browser.

The country’s homelessness crisis can feel distant and bureaucratic, until you see it through the eyes of a child. Shelter follows three unhoused children and their parents over one summer in Los Angeles as they seek steady shelter. Skylar’s family is living day to day: in the car, in the woods or, when her dad can scrape together a few dollars, the respite of a motel room. She dreams of “waking up as a princess” in a beautiful room of her own, while her father struggles to find a steady job so he can make his little girl’s dreams come true. Nicholas and his mother Jessica spent the summer in their car, parked near the beach where neighbors would be less likely to call the police on them, until they secure emergency housing in a motel. It’s a short-term fix that gives Jessica 30 days to find a more permanent solution to their nomadic lives. Victoria is the elder daughter of housing activist Martha Escudero, one of the founders of the Reclaiming Our Homes movement. After two years of couch surfing, Martha became desperate to provide a safe environment for her daughters. So she broke the locks on an abandoned, state-owned single story house in suburban Los Angeles, and “occupied” it while she figures out their next move. Amid threats of eviction and the hostility of neighbors who accuse them of squatting, Victoria plants a garden and hopes her family will soon be able to put down real roots. While each family’s circumstances are different, and their futures uncertain, they are bound by love and a common determination to have a better life, against all odds.

Presented by Sesame Workshop and HBO Max.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and are edited for length and clarity, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Heartland Film.

Film Contact:

Meralta Films


  • Year
  • Runtime
    33 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States of America
  • Rating
    Suitable for All Ages
  • Note
    Documentary Short
  • Director
    Smriti Mundhra
  • Producer
    Maya Gnyp
  • Cast
    Nicholas, Skylar, Victoria