This is my body, my beauty” – Sukhjit Khalsa

After its world premiere in Melbourne earlier this year – where ‘No Time For Quiet‘ got nominated for Melbourne Film Festival‘s “People’s Choice Award”, Sydney finally gets the chance to meet the powerful souls that make this documentary a “must watch”.

Samantha Dinning and Hylton Shaw‘s ‘No Time For Quiet‘ takes place in Melbourne, where 40 girls and non-binary youth aged 11 to 17 cross paths during the inaugural Girls Rock! Camp. The mentors, teachers, coaches and youth workers are all excited to empower these young participants through rock ‘n’ roll. The camera follows Phoebe, Zeiro, Lucy and Dakota as they bond, find a sense of belonging and identity, and discover their voices through music. In the end, we also get to witness the change in their lives, months after they finished camp.

These creatively diverse youngsters are unique in their own ways. Phoebe, 16, struggles with psychosis. It got so bad, she couldn’t even interact with other people anymore. When Sally, the program director, first jumps on stage to welcome this big group of talent, she’s full of energy that clearly shines like rays of sun over a nervous crowd. Somewhere in this crowd, we see Zeiro, a gender fluid 16-year old, who explains in a very simple way what gender fluidity exactly is. Jay, one of the camp volunteers, asks everyone to respect each other’s preferred pronouns. Lucy and Dakota, both 13, come from different backgrounds, but one love they have in common – music. Lucy tends to get anxious around other people, and gets shy, but tries not to let it get to her. Dakota, on the other hand, feels like she’d feel more at home in an online world – everything seems much safer when gaming and escaping to another realm. Over the next week, they’ll all write songs, form a band and learn how to play an instrument.

This Australian documentary is truly something special. These young members come out of their shell, which becomes not only inspiring for the people closest to them, but also the ones watching this documentary. I couldn’t help but feel with them, while watching them grow in such a short amount of time. Not only was it a challenge to overcome for themselves, but the guidance of their band coaches and several important spokes persons, such as indie rocker Courtney Barnett, Indigenous rapper Lady Lash and spoken word artist, Sukhjit Khalsa, joined this little community to guide them through this journey of self discovery.

No Time For Quiet doesn’t hold back and packs a punch. Social anxiety, gender inequality and gender fluidity get discussed on a deeper level. I have so much respect for everyone involved in this important piece of filmmaking. Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, there’s no time for quiet.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

No Time For Quiet screens as part of Antenna Documentary Film Festival. Tickets are still available:

  • 21 October, 7pm at Palace Chauvel Cinema (in attendance of directors Samantha Dinning and Hylton Shaw)

Buy your tickets now:

Antenna Documentary Film Festival Review – ‘No Time For Quiet’

Reviewed online, Sydney, Oct. 18, 2019. (in Sydney, Antenna Documentary Film Festival) CBA rating: PG. Running time: 84 min.

PRODUCTION: A Film Camp production and release. Producers: Samantha Dinning, Hylton Shaw.

CREW: Directors: Samantha Dinning, Hylton Shaw. Camera (color, widescreen): Samantha Dinning. Editor: Alan Bennett.

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