Ana Kokkinos

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Ana Kokkinos (born 3 August 1958) is an Australian film director. Kokkinos was born in Melbourne and prior to her career in film, she worked as an industrial lawyer. In 1991 she was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts' graduate film and television programme.[1] Kokkinos realized she was gay at the age of 15.[2] 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."[2] Although Kokkinos identifies as a lesbian, she rejects the tag "lesbian film maker."[2] 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."[2] Kokkinos has directed three feature length films, one short feature and one short film. She has won numerous awards for her films.[3] Kokkinos has also directed television shows such as The Secret Life of Us and The Time of Our Lives.[4]


Kokkinos's career began with a short black and white film she directed while in her first year of film school. Antamosi (1992) examines a migrant family's relationship which is told from the perspective of three generations of women.[4] Coming from an immigrant family herself, Kokkinos's work often deals with themes of identity and family.

Her next film was the short feature Only The Brave (1994). This film follows Alex as he helplessly watches his best friend Vicki fall victim to her self-destructive tendencies.[5]

In her feature length work, Head On (1998), Kokkinos explores the relationship between the city and the individual. Similar to a "road movie" (ie Mad Max 1979) where the narrative follows the protagonists journey to their destination, a "street movie" follows the protagonist as they wander urban streets.[6] 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.[2] Kokkinos also 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."[2] Head On 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.[3]

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.[7] The women also repeatedly rape Daniel. The Book of Revelation was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for best screenplay.[8]

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.[9] Blessed was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for best adapted screenplay in 2009.[10]


  1. ^ "Interview Ana Kokkinos", Signet, 8 July 1999 accessed 19 November 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f THOMAS, KEVIN (1999-09-02). "MOVIES : Collision With Life : Director looks at what it means to be Greek and Australian, gay and conflicted.". Los Angeles Times (in en-US). ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Ana Kokkinos". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Ana Kokkinos". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  5. ^ "IMDB Only The Brave 1994". 
  6. ^ "Wander Lust: Genre, Sexuality and Identity in Ana Kokkinos’s Head On | Hardwick | Cultural Studies Review". Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  7. ^, retrieved 2015-10-06  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "The Book of Revelation (2006)". 
  9. ^ "Film review - Blessed (2009)". Cinema Autopsy. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  10. ^ "IMDB Blessed (2009) Awards". 

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