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Published August 21, 2019

No Time For Quiet is a feature film made with the assistance of Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premier Fund in 2019, directed by Hylton Shaw and Samantha Dinning. This is a carefully considered educational documentary that follows the lives of five young trans and gender diverse people battling anxiety and depression, who have agreed to be featured participants during their time at Melbourne’s very own Girls Rock Camp (situated at Wicks, a recording studio, in Brunswick). 

No Time For Quiet offers a raw observational method of filming that allows audiences to engage positively with material that is new and has a potential confronting to teenagers and adults alike. Apart from the stories and content surrounding each participant, the documentary includes a unique and creative approach for adding cinematic value: brief colorful collage animations reflecting on the progress of their mental health concerns during their time at Girls Rock Camp.

Musicians and educators hold informal sessions, which includes the musician Courtney Barnett revealing her personal music journey, and how discovering her talents at a young age gave her the confidence to pursue a musical career. There are some lively scenarios that include band naming, writing lyrics, zine making, and punk aerobics – all of these scenes offer glimpses of insight that challenge the way we see the girls. 

During the Q&A after a MIFF screening, the filmmakers claimed that had shot eighty hours of footage and had edited that down to ninety minutes. Although this was a sizeable reduction, the filmmakers were hoping to maintain a level of truth and integrity in the final cut that would open up discussion evolving issues of fairness and gender integration, and more broadly addressing and raising awareness of all teenagers who suffer from anxiety and depression.

Girls Rock began in Portland in 2001, and is now an international network of feminists based arts and social justice groups that run music-based band camps that provide girls, trans and gender non–conforming teenagers a creative and safe place to develop and express themselves. The first Australian Girls Rock happened in Canberra in 2016 and hit Melbourne in 2017, and continues to successfully empower young people through music education and mentorship.

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