Matchbox and Film Camp to ‘Turn Up the Volume’ in new kids series for ABC

Elaine King as Ginger, Mira Russo as Breeze, Ayiana Ncube as Jam, Riya Mandrawa as Vivi and Erza James as Hex in 'Turn Up The Volume'. (Photo: Jane Zhang)

2019 coming-of-age documentary No Time For Quiet has inspired an ABC live-action children’s series, Turn Up the Volume – in production now in Melbourne.

Produced by Matchbox Pictures and Film Camp, Turn Up The Volume will follow a group of young female and gender diverse teenagers who start a band at a music camp held in Melbourne’s inner west.

At first disillusioned and disconnected, the group join together to discover the strength to define themselves on their own terms, and find belonging in the embrace of community.

Leading the cast in the 10 x 24-minute series are Riya Mandrawa as Vivi, Erza James as Hex, Elaine King as Ginger, Mira Russo as Breeze and Ayiana Ncube as Jam. 

Also to star are Justine Clarke, Spencer McLaren, Keith Brockett, Debra Lawrance, Dennis Coard, Kaiya Jones, Ben Chen and Madison Lu, with a cameo by Tim Rogers.

Philippa Campey and Rachel Davis produce, with Matchbox’s Amanda Higgs and Margaret Ross executive producers.

Writers include Dannika Horvat, Penelope Chai, Matthew Bon, Ciarán Hanrahan and newcomers Chloe Wong, Betiel Beyin and Leigh Lule, with direction by Tenika Smith, Jub Clerc, Harry Lloyd, Jessie Oldfield and Adam Murfet. 

Music performed by The Volume is composed and produced by Josh Teicher and Sophia Exiner. Heads of department include cinematographer Darrell Martin, production designer Ben Bangay and costume designer Penny Dickinson.

ABC head of children’s Libbie Doherty described the series as a “heartfelt voyage” through the streets of Footscray.

“Leaning into the zeitgeist this series explores identity, love and teen loss set against the struggles of growing up, all through the relatable prism of music and – starting a band,” she said.

“There is an extraordinary team of emerging talent in front and behind the camera assembled for this show. Supported by the safe hands of Rachel Davis and Philippa Campey, who have a track record for finding and telling extraordinary stories from an unexpected perspective, along with the powerhouse team from Matchbox Pictures. We know “The Volume” will strike a deep chord with our ABC Me audiences who are finding their voice.”

No Time For Quiet, written and directed by Hylton Shaw and Samantha Dinning, followed 40 girls and gender diverse youth aged 11 to 17 who converged in Brunswick for the inaugural week-long Girls Rock! Melbourne camp. The film, also produced by Film Camp, premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and screened on the ABC.

Major production investment in Turn Up The Volume comes from Screen Australia and the ABC, with further support from VicScreen.