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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Quiet Minds Silent Streets

Finalist in Mental Health


Quiet Minds Silent Streets introduces viewers to a community that has been chronically affected by gun violence. This thoughtful, eye-opening documentary asks whether they can find a new way forward with a relatively simple technique - mindfulness and meditation. After 17-year-old Jonathan Davis was caught in the crossfire of one of Ontario’s worst mass shootings, the youth began looking for a way to cope. Janice Lowe, a high school teacher in the neighbourhood, came across Director X’s powerful TEDxTalk titled 'Message To The Man Who Shot Me.' Lowe showed her students the video and proposed an idea: let’s meditate together. The film follows their journey to heal the community as told from the narrative of the students, teachers, and community leaders. With this film, we wanted to bring conversations about mental health and coping mechanisms like meditation and mindfulness to communities that may not know those tools exist for them. And while we aren't solving the issue, we are trying to equip people with resources that may be useful in their mental health journeys.

Strategy and Execution

To execute this vision, we parterned with Toronto creative who are born and raised in communities just like the one in the film. We wanted our approach to be one from a place of authenticity. The film was Directed by Karen Chapman, Produced by Sara Basso, and Executive Produced by Julien Christian Lutz (professionally known as Director X) and made in partnership with the nonprofit PreFrontal Cortex and XTR along with us at Headspace. All of us are committed to bringing conversations around mental health to the forefront and breaking stigmas around needing and asking for help. The goal of the film was to expose people to meditation and mindfulness and show them that it can be for them as well, it can be for anyone. This is a very personal piece of media and the biggest challenge was to get to a vulnerable and personal level with the students and adults featured in the film. Conversations around gun violence, trauma, grief, and mental health can be scary and intimidating but through the stories we told and the way in which we wanted to share this story and we were able to really get to know some of our characters and hear what they're facing. Another challenge was just to try and capture all areas of life in the community, from the school and the students to alumni to parents to activists and make everyone's experience cohesive and make sense together and I think the story we were able to weave together was really beautiful.


Through this film, we have started a whole conversation around mental health and the power of mindfulness in this community and beyond. We were able to screen the film at multiple film festivals this year and also work with other nonprofits to bring more meditation and mindfulness to those who need it. This is just the beginning for us on reaching more and more people but we feel this film is a great beginning in getting some of those conversations started.


Video for Quiet Minds Silent Streets

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