When the cameras stopped rolling – A documentary by Coogee Local – City Hub Sydney


Jane Castle and Lilias Fraser on Lil’s 74th birthday.

When the cameras stopped rolling is a documentary that delves into the career of pioneering filmmaker Lilias Fraser, who was born in 1930 and died tragically in 2004. Coogee resident Fraser made 40 films in her career and was one of the few female directors of those early years breaking into the world of one man cinema.

Directed by her daughter Jane Castle, the film looks at Lilias’ life, her career and how Jane herself followed in her mother’s footsteps by also venturing into the world of film. Their relationship is explored, the traumas that affected their relationship, and their journey to reconciliation and healing.

“I adored my mother and when I was little she was a goddess to me. But over time something seemed to happen. We were all trapped in a family situation of domestic violence and over time its consumption drinking escalated, so it became very difficult to communicate with her, and then over the years we started getting together, especially towards the end of her life.

Lilias Fraser on location

Lilias Fraser on location

Jane’s father who, perhaps out of jealousy, claimed Lilias was a failure. But when asked if her mother was indeed a failure, Jane was quick to respond.

“She was by no means a failure, quite the contrary. She was a success in the film industry and broke down so many barriers for women. She also became a role model for the next generation of female filmmakers. But I know she felt like a failure at times and it’s so painful to remember that.


Jane is herself an accomplished filmmaker having made films and music videos in Australia and the United States. She has worked on music videos with KD Lang, Midnight Oil, Prince, Foreigner and Danni Minogue among others. But she said this documentary is the most important project she has worked on to date.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and the most rewarding both personally and creatively. He has been in many film festivals in Europe and the United States. For timing reasons, we decided to release it more internationally and then come back to Australia.

Joan's Castle

Joan’s Castle

Jane agrees that without her mother’s influence, she would not have become a filmmaker.

“I swore to quit movies when I was a kid. It felt like a chaotic mess, and my parents were always in money trouble, but somehow something got into it. my psyche from my mother and worked its magic. I keep giving up on film, but then I keep taking it back. It’s a very love/hate relationship.

April 24 Screening and Q&A with Dendy Newtown and Randwick Ritz


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