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Ana Kokkinos

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Name  Ana Kokkinos

Role  Film director

Education  University of Melbourne Faculty of VCA and MCM
Awards  AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film, Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film
Nominations  AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, AACTA Award for Best Direction
Movies  Head On, The Book of Revelation, Blessed, Only the Brave, Antamosi
Similar People  Alex Dimitriades, Andrew Bovell, Tom Long, Paul Capsis, Julian Garner

Blessed director ana kokkinos at athens international film festival opening nights 2010

Ana Kokkinos (born 3 August 1958) is an Australian film and television director and screenwriter of Greek descent. Kokkinos was born in Melbourne and prior to her career in film, she worked as an industrial lawyer. Kokkinos has since directed three feature-length films and two short films. She has won numerous awards for her films. Kokkinos has also directed television shows such as The Secret Life of Us and The Time of Our Lives.


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The Guardian wrote, of her work: "Kokkinos’s cinematic oeuvre is among the most hard-hitting bodies of work in Australian cinema."

Head on 1998 trailer ana kokkinos

Early work

In 1991, she was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts' graduate film and television programme.

Kokkinos' career began with a short black and white film she directed while in her first year of film school, Antamosi (1992), which examines a migrant family's relationship which is told from the perspective of three generations of women. Coming from a Greek immigrant family herself, Kokkinos's work often deals with themes of identity and family.

Her next film was the 50 minute short feature Only The Brave (1994), which won several awards. This film follows Alex as he helplessly watches his best friend Vicki fall victim to her self-destructive tendencies.

1998–1999: Breakthrough with Head On

In her feature length work, Head On (1998), Kokkinos explores the relationship between the city and the individual. Similar to a "road movie" (i.e. Mad Max 1979) where the narrative follows the protagonists journey to their destination, a "street movie" follows the protagonist as they wander urban streets. Head On follows Greek-Australian teenager Ari as he wanders the streets of Melbourne. Ari is struggling with his identity as a gay male and the identity his family wishes to thrust upon him.

Head On divided the Greek community in Australia Kokkinos said in an interview with the LA Times. Kokkinos said "what it did is that it opened up a dialogue between younger Greeks and their parents. What the film has done is that it has broken down barriers."

The film was adapted from the novel Loaded which was written by Christos Tsiolkas. Head On received numerous awards from around the globe including Best First Feature in the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival as well as Best Film at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

2000s–present: Further work

Her next film The Book of Revelation (2006) was also adapted form a novel of the same name written by Rupert Thomson. This film continues the street movie theme developed in Head On. In The Book of Revelation the main protagonist, Daniel, leaves his house to buy cigarettes but is abducted by three masked women who then subject him to physical and emotional abuse. The women also repeatedly rape Daniel. The Book of Revelation was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for Best Screenplay.

Kokkinos's most recent film was Blessed (2009). The film deals with the complex relationship between mother and child and occurs during the span of 24 hours. Blessed was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2009.

Personal life

Kokkinos realized she was gay at the age of 15. In an interview with the LA Times she said, "I went through a very long process of having to come to terms with that, and that wasn't easy, but I don't think it's easy for anyone."

Although Kokkinos identifies as a lesbian, she rejects the tag "lesbian filmmaker." In the same LA Times interview she said, "I have the capacity to represent all kinds of characters on screen and tell a variety of stories with all kinds of characters in a compelling and interesting way for the broadest possible audience."

Selected filmography

Anatamosi (1992)

Only The Brave (1994)

Head On (1998)

The Book of Revelation (2006)

Blessed (2009)


Ana Kokkinos Wikipedia

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