Film poster for "17 and Life Doesn't Wait" with three teen girls.
Film poster for "17 and Life Doesn't Wait" with three teen girls.
a candid view of life through the eyes of three teen girls


Regular price $559.00




Refreshingly honest" - POV Magazine | "Wonderfully nuanced" - Globe and Mail

Girlhood Studies • Anthropology • Children, Youth & Families • Education & Educational Equity • High School • Social Work • Society and Culture

Date of Completion: 2019 | Run Time: 80 & 58 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript Director & Producer: Maureen Judge

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 follows them during their senior year of high school, as they experience the impact of the outside world, their impending independence, and the conflicting expectations and often 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. 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.

School Library Journal
"Reassuring the high school seniors, who may wonder if everyone else has it more figured out, and a useful prompt for preservice teachers to remind them that under an 'I've got this' attitude, teens still benefit from sensitive adult support."

POV Magazine 
"The topic–three vibrant teenage girls facing family and societal expectations and challenges on the threshold of finishing secondary school–allows Judge to describe what it is truly like to be an adolescent female in the twenty-first century. The usual subjects emerge, but often in unexpected ways. The girls are confident and vulnerable, innocent and sophisticated, all at the same time. They adore and depend on their parents, and reject and mock them at the same time. As always, Judge and her team have located remarkable people to be characters in the film, and built trusting relationships with them, and their families. We are aware of the director’s and the camera’s presence in this film in a way that is refreshingly honest. The girls live their lives on screen so this is just one more lens in their face."

Globe and Mail
"17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT by director Maureen Judge is a vivid, often wrenching look at life through the eyes of three teen girls. The three are in their final year of high school, and getting ready for the world outside. Of the three, some are happy and optimistic while others have dread lurking in them. The doc is wonderfully nuanced and at times heartbreaking. The matter of the suicides of teens they know comes up. Shot over nine months, 17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT is no snapshot. It delves deep into its subjects as they deal with daily life, rejection and family tensions. All three emerge as unforgettable figures."

Maureen Judge is an award-winning filmmaker whose candid and emotionally rich documentaries have screened at festivals, on television, and in educational settings worldwide. Her films are provocative, relevant, and relatable to audiences who see their own lives reflected in the subjects and their stories. The character-based films explore complex issues facing young adults, women, and families with empathy, humor and razor-sharp observations.

Maureen’s new critically acclaimed documentary, 17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT, takes a deep dive into the hopes, dreams and challenges of three teen girls in their senior year of high school. The film captures the young women’s laughter, struggles, and victories as they grapple with family and university acceptances, engage in the perennial rituals of senior prom, digest the devastation of the Parkland massacre, graduate, and confront issues around sexual identity, suicide and assault. It explores what it’s like to be an adolescent female today and speaks directly to young women experiencing the pressures and anxieties of defining themselves in our world. A TVO Canadian public television commission with an award from the Hot Docs Production Fund, 17 And Life Doesn’t Wait earned nominations for Best Documentary Feature at the Columbus International Film & Animation Festival and for Best Mental Health Documentary, Yorkton Film Festival.

Maureen’s previous documentary, My Millennial Life, is also youth-centered and follows the struggles of five 20-somethings navigating underemployment, survival and love in the 21st Century. The film won multiple awards, including the prestigious 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program. It was also honored as an official selection for the online showcase of the Best 2016 Cross platform projects by the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam DocLab. Maureen’s other documentaries have received many awards including a Genie Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for Unveiled: The Mother Daughter Relationship, a Chris Award for And We Knew How to Dance: Women and WWI, and a Hot Docs Special Feature Documentary Jury Prize for FLicKeR. Maureen holds a master’s degree in Cinema Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is an adjunct film professor at Sheridan College.