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Film Completed   /  Aaron Lucas

I’ll Be Frank

Guided by the animated memories of his Opa, Aaron is taken on a journey through Nazi Germany to realise his heritage.


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Aaron Lucas

  • PRODUCER Eloise Walker & Christina Schoefisch



At the age of 70, Frank Lucas wrote his memoir entitled, ‘Some Memories Of My Life’. He musters up memories and details from his childhood - from growing up in Berlin in the 1930’s as a young Jewish boy until his family’s escape to Sydney, Australia in 1939. Pinned against the backdrop of Nazi Germany and Jewish persecution, Frank recounts fond memories of playing in fields making daisy chains in the graveyard near his grandparents house in Soest, of protecting his younger sister and of looking up to his funny Uncle Ernst - who was later killed along with his wife and son at Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. These memories come alive in animated form, in fragments and mostly incomplete as Frank heaves up memory from many years ago. Fast forward 80 years - Frank has passed away and his grandson Aaron has moved from Sydney to Berlin, now a completely different city to the one that Frank describes.

Support this project

46.87% funded
  • $15,000.00

  • $7,030.00

  • 18

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Luke Abela $20.00
Donna Swarthout $50.00
Cheryl Godkin $300.00
Samuel Lancaster $100.00
Lucy Hay $100.00
Emilie Werrin $50.00
Mandi Mather $50.00
Liz Steet $50.00
Mason Phoumirath $10.00
Stacey Hedges $200.00
Harrison Lochtenberg $50.00
Ella Topic Flink $500.00
Katrina Hart $150.00
Edwina Hirst $150.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
David Goldberg $500.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

2019 marks exactly 80 years since Frank and his family fled Berlin for Australian shores. It marks 80 years since Germany invaded Poland and began World War 2. In 2019, Jewish people from all over the world are immigrating to Berlin - more than any other city in Europe. A city that was once the heart of darkness for the global jewish community is now being seen in a new light. ‘I’ll Be Frank’ is one inter generational story that represents many more similar experiences of return and reclamation. In telling this story, we hope to play our part in preserving the memories and stories of the European Jews that were so nearly eradicated 80 years ago.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

It would be a Friday night and the whole family would be there for Shabbat dinner. I would sit amongst a sea of my many cousins, all watching on with our mouths agape. For the first time in the evening, we were silent, enamored, listening to Frank. He would have the rooms total attention. Frank was a beautiful story teller. I want to share his stories with as many people as possible so that they too can feel that they were in that room.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

All of Frank’s stories are to be taken verbatim from his autobiography so that they remain exactly as he remembered them. They will then be animated by his other grandson, Jimmy Buckle, bringing his words and his stories to life. At the same time, Aaron’s discovery of Berlin in 2019 will be shot beautifully by the cinematographers at Berlin based production company SKIN with vintage lenses to give it a nostalgic quality.

Frank’s story is vital. It is by sharing human stories of such an inconceivably inhumane period of history that we are able to understand it more and, in turn, prevent it ever happening again.

“Fiction cannot recite the numbing numbers, but it can be that witness, that memory. A storyteller can attempt to tell the human tale, can make a galaxy out of the chaos, can point to the fact that some people survived even as most people died. And can remind us that the swallows still sing around the smokestacks.” — Jane Yolen, Author of The Devil's Arithmetic.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The films duration and content makes it an ideal short for film festivals. We intend to submit the film to festivals in Australia, Germany and throughout Europe and the U.S through which we hope to reach as large and broad an audience as possible.

We believe this project to also be a useful resource for school students and Jewish and non-jewish organisations in Australia and Europe, some of which we have already received interest from. These include Jewish Museums, Berlin Jewish Community Organisations, Sydney Jewish Community and Synagogues.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?


Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope that viewers will be better informed the ongoing effects of the holocaust and the current jewish revival in Berlin.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We hope to reach as many viewers as possible from all around the world and the metric for success is how many people watch the film.