Two Greeks from the Diaspora, author Christos Tsiolkas and director and screenwriter Ana Kokkinos were chosen this year by the RMIT University to share their knowledge with future authors, whose main reference is their Greek origin, in the context of the program The Writers in Residence.
Tsiolkas, a child of Greek immigrants, openly homosexual and a leftist, has had a constant strong presence in Australian literature. This year he will publish his new book, Barracuda.
His book, The Slap, was published in 2008 by Allen&Unwin and then the rights were bought in the United Kingdom. The book has sold 500,000 copies in Britain and was nominated for Man Booker Prize while it won the Commonwealth Writers Prize. It also became a successful television series in Australia.
His book, Dead Europe won the Australian newspaper Age award. Then he published The Jesus Man. His novel, Loaded, published in 1995, was made a film titled Head On in 1998 by Ana Kokkinos and caused sensation.
Ana Kokkinos is a daughter of immigrants from Serres and has working class origins. She was born on Aug. 3, 1958 in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
As a teenager Kokkinos fell in love with the European cinema. “I loved the movies of Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky… I suddenly saw the potential of cinema as an art and its abilities to deal with the complexity of human condition. However, as a good Greek-Australian of that time, I studied Law and I exercised my profession for many years. But my incredible passion for the cinema never abandoned me.”
The doors of success opened in 1998, with her first feature film, based on Tsiolka’s Head On, which was premiered at the Cannes and became the theme of the festival. The portrait of a Greek-Australian, Alex Dimitriades with a complicated sexual identity was admired for its directness, and was awarded at L&G Festival of San Francisco, at the Outfest Los Angeles, as well as by the Australian Writers’ Guild.
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