Q&A with producer of The Last Shelter, Estelle Robin You

Highlights from our IG Live with producer of The Last Shelter, Estelle Robin You. The film won the Feature Documentary category at the One World Media Awards 2022. Watch the full interview here

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to producing The Last Shelter?

I was in France at the time, where I live. I was quite actively involved with refugees  because there were  many people coming to my city who were living on the street. I was having discussions with people about why they would not return home by asking them questions like why they would prefer to stay and not be welcome, while living without proper housing or papers or healthcare for months. Why would they not go home instead?

So this film was really timely for me.

 

Can you tell us a little bit more about the element of exile in a refugee crisis? If the person is not present, how do you report on something like that?

Ousmane (the filmmaker) would spend lots of time in the house of migrants and he would…really be there, be present. He would meet the people and gain their trust although most of the migrants who live in the house come and go, so they might arrive and then they might disappear.

 

Can you tell us a little bit more about why it was important to tell this story?

It was important because it is timely. There have been many films about people’s migration stories. A lot of them were told from a European or North American angle. The voice of Ousmane was so important but also the question of the return, why people actually decide to leave and why it’s so difficult to return once they’re gone.

We knew we had very strong scenes and ways of establishing the place, questions, the topic, the way the migrants were talking to each other in the house. That’s another reason why I thought this was a very special film. The experts on migration are migrants themselves. They’re not politicians, they’re not NGO specialists. They’re the people who actually go through the journey so there’s a really strong element of sharing experiences in the film.