Jane Castle

Director’s statement

The film is a dual-journey narrative that tells the story of my trailblazing filmmaker mother and of my own journey as a cinematographer and daughter across six decades of photography and filmmaking. It’s also the story of intergenerational trauma and how it disrupted our relationship. As a recovering cinematographer I was determined to prioritise story over visual beauty and in the process I found a way of fusing driving narrative and poetic metaphor. This form has allowed me to obliquely explore universal issues such as motherhood, trauma, grief and healing. One of the greatest challenges was to keep seeking an ever deeper truth. This meant being radically honest about the role I played in my relationship with my mother. Although it’s unnerving to expose myself in this way, I hope it will allow audiences to enter more deeply and honestly into their own personal stories. Amidst the many layers, the power of the image to either hide the truth or reveal it has intrigued me; and despite my ambivalent relationship with film, it has become the medium through which my mother and I have been finally able to meet. My inspirations include Chris Marker’s landmark Sunless, Sarah Polley’s rivetting Stories We Tell and the powerful I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck. Above my desk sits a picture of James Baldwin whose honesty, insight and precision I have constantly been challenged to match.

Jane’s biography

Jane Castle is a multi-award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer. She’s shot feature films, documentaries and a vast range of music videos for performers such as Prince, U2, Mary J Blige, Usher and INXS. Among her awards she has won the Stockholm, Kodak and Australian Cinematographers Society awards for Best Cinematography. From 1990 to 1995 Jane lived and worked in the US and in 1993 became the second ever woman to be accredited by the Australian Cinematographer’s Society. Jane’s directing work includes the award-winning short, Roadside Café, the SBS TV documentary Sixty Thousand Barrels and her first feature documentary, When the Camera Stopped Rolling. Jane combines her filmmaking with environmental activism, producing and directing campaign videos for groups such as Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre.