17 And Life Doesn’t Wait
” … wonderfully nuanced and at times heartbreaking.”
– John Doyle, ‘The Globe and Mail’
17 And Life Doesn’t Wait paints a lively, candid and emotionally charged view of life through the eyes of three teen girls. The film catches them in their final year of high school, as they experience the impact of the outside world, their impending independence, and the conflicting expectations and overwhelming anxiety that come with being a girl.
It delves into the teens’ attitudes, actions and goals, as they dream about the future, and discover their passions and anxieties. While these smart, sassy, and tenacious young women may hail from diverse walks of life, each has the ambition to continue with her education, and meet her challenges head on, and in her own way.
Meet Kiki, an African-American high school basketball star and middle class summa cum laude student, with a twin brother who doesn’t excel like his sister. Kiki struggles with the responsibility of balancing her dreams, and the sacrifices she must make for her brother’s future.
Funny, forthright and vibrant, Mich is a young artist, who’s estranged from her mother, on welfare, and struggling with depression and the loneliness of living on her own. She’s trying to come to terms with her sexuality, the repercussions of a recent sexual assault, and finding love, acceptance and a new home.
Math and science whizz, Audrey, straddles a delicate balance between two worlds – the independence of living and going to school downtown, and the expectations of her suburban Asian-Canadian parents. She’s driven to please, yet struggles with her own desires, eventually learning some hard lessons from disappointment.
Shot over nine months, the film captures the girls’ laughter, struggles and victories. We watch them grapple with family, university acceptances (or rejections and scholarships, engage in the perennial primping for senior prom; digest the devastation of the Parkland massacre; graduate, and confront issues around sexual identity, suicide and assault.
17 And Life Doesn’t Wait is thought-provoking and inspiring, revealing the girls’ frustrations and successes, and their ability to discover and define themselves, and to move ahead in their lives.
Columbus International Film & Animation Festival (April 2020) – Official Selection and nominated for Best Feature Film
Belleville International DocFest (March 2020) – Official Selection and featured panelist
Cathy Gulkin C.C.E.
Maureen Judge, Martin Waxman
and additional research