Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Anna Kannava
b. August 23, 1959, Cyprus.

d. May 5, 2011, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   After migrating from Cyprus at the age of fifteen in 1974, Anna Kannava grew up and studied in Melbourne.

In 1982 at Deakin University she completed a Bachelor of Education in Drama and Media where she studied drama, film, screen-writing, photography and fine art with further courses in the '80s and '90s in writing and directing.

In the 1980s she worked as an actor with a Theatre in Education team and a Greek Theatre company. She also travelled extensively to Europe and filmed Ten Years After, Ten Years Older in Cyprus in 1985.


She directed several plays and short films including one play at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne and worked as a writer, actor, director and animator.

In 2002-3 she travelled to Paris and Cyprus and completed a novel called Stefanos of Limassol. Also in 2003 she received funding and filmed her first feature film called Dreams for Life, which was released in Australia in 2005.

In 2008, she completed her second feature, Kissing Paris, and her second novel, So Much Joy - Lisboa!

Her first novel Stefanos of Limassol has been published by Ilura Press. The second novel's publication is pending.

After suffering for years from the condition of scleroderma, Anna died on May 5, 2011 from cancer.


Ten Years After ... Ten Years Older

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   I came to Australia when I was fifteen. I had great difficulty with English because I kept holding on to my old language because I could feel it. The teacher asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said I really wanted to do some directoring. But it was the theatre I was in love with since I was a child. One day a friend took me to the Valhalla Cinema in Richmond. It was a Fellini double. 8 and The Clowns. Fellini was actually one of the clowns. After that I saw Bergman, Antonioni, Truffaut, Nicolas Roeg films and others there. I think they're still my favourite filmmakers along with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Then I got into Rusden College, now called Deakin University, which was a teacher's College. I got in through an audition. Had I not made it I would have not gone on to a higher education - it was official, I was a double Drama student. I had to pick up extra subjects however, so I chose Media Studies which included TV, graphics, film and photography. I also studied dance and art.

Suddenly I had fallen in love and this time I knew it was for real. I had discovered filmmaking. Practical filmmaking meant three hours a week and very little access to anything. Luckily for me, a wonderful lecturer and filmmaker called Graeme Cutts liked my first personal film Kannava You Can'av'er or as the boys used to call it Anyone Can Have Her (in their dreams) and gave me all the 16mm film stock and equipment I wanted - an absolute privilege. I made a film each year. Graeme Cutts also introduced me to experimental films. Sometimes I think my style is a combination of silence and slapstick from the silent era, experimentation from countless hours of experimental film screenings and atmosphere from the Europeans. The voice-over just comes to me; I have no control over it. At school I also met and became friends with filmmakers Brian McKenzie and Ray Argall, tutors there, just out of film school.

After college I bought a 16mm Bolex from the Trading Post and set off to make a film in Cyprus, which recorded my return after a ten year absence. More than anything I wanted to teach myself how to make films. The film was called Ten Years After . Ten Years Older and was the second personal documentary I have made which was then followed, ten years later, with another about my family and especially my brother Nino called The Butler.


Dreams for Life

I have just completed a drama called Dreams for Life. What excites me about the film is the fact I have used everything I have learnt over the years but the film is fiction. I find making personal films very distressing.

Some kind of statement

I'd much rather see a film which pushes the boundaries and takes risks because even if it doesn't completely work such a film is likely to liberate and illuminate me.

My love for film stems from my love for all arts. Filmmaking comes the closest to incorporating all of the arts together. If the actors are not moving then the camera does or just the fact that film consists of jumping from frame to frame, from shot to shot, to me is a dance. There is the rhythm of the shots and flow of the film from beginning to end, another dance, a piece of music. Then there are the colours, textures, patterns, shades and light in each shot and frame like in a painting or a photograph. I love the power of sound, the word and the theatrical aspects of film. Perhaps I see myself as a collage artist; I try to mix and clash all the different elements and styles within the one film.

- Anna Kannava, May 2004.

See also Dreams for Life page and Kissing Paris page.



The Butler

Kannava You Can'av'er (1980, 1 min, 16mm)

The Wedding of Venus (co-directed with Annie Duncan, 1981, 14 mins, 16mm)

Tightrope Water (co-directed with Annie Duncan, 1982, 12 mins, 16mm)

Ten Years After ... Ten Years Older (1986, 35 mins, 16mm)

Vanilla Essence (1989, 16 mins, 16mm)

The Butler (1997, 58 mins, 16mm)

Dreams for Life (2004, 76 mins, Super 16/35mm)

Kissing Paris (2008, 90 mins, HDV)

Kissing Paris TRAILER (2008)



Vanilla Essence

2008Kissing Paris
Feature drama

Brisbane International Film Festival 2008

Australian Centre for Moving Image 2009
Cork International Film Festival 2009
Halls Gap Film Festival 2009

2004Dreams for Life
Feature drama

Brisbane International Film Festival 2004
Sydney Greek Festival 2005
Down Under International Film Festival 2005 - Best Australian Feature Award
Australian Screen Director’s Association nomination - New Director Award
Australian Film Institute awards entry & cinema release 2005
Annapolis International Film Festival US 2005
Cyprus International Film Festival 2006 Best Feature and Best Actress nominations
Eurocine ‘Fete L’ Europe’ Film Festival 2006 - Brussels, Paris, Strasbourg
Eurocine ‘Fete L’ Europe’ Film Festival 2007 - Lyon, Rome, Madrid

1997 - The Butler
One hour personal documentary commissioned and screened by ABC Television.


Kissing Paris

EAC Dendy Award Sydney Film Festival 1997
Diploma Merit Vision Du Reel, Switzerland 1997
Nominated Best Documentary 1997 AFI awards
Nominated Best Director Open Craft 1997 AFI awards
Diploma Merit St Kilda Film Festival 1997
Finalist - New York Short Film Expo 1998

1989 - Vanilla Essence
Short silent drama

St Kilda Film Festival 1989
Numerous experimental film festival screenings

1986 - Ten Years After . Ten Years Older
A half hour personal documentary

ATOM award for Best Australian film 1987
Diploma of Merit Melbourne Film Festival 1986
Diploma of Merit St Kilda Film Festival 1987
Nominated Best Documentary Dendy Awards 1987
Broadcast by SBS Television


1982 - Tightrope Water
Short experimental narrative

Melbourne Film Festival 1982
Numerous experimental film festival screenings

1981 - Wedding of Venus
Short experimental narrative

Numerous experimental film festival screenings

1980 - Kannava You Can'av'er
Short personal documentary

Numerous experimental film festival screenings

(written 1997-2008)

  • Kissing Paris - (Writing completed to Final script) produced 2008
  • Dreams for Life - (Writing completed to Final script) produced 2004
  • The Distance - (Writing completed to Final script) unproduced
  • The Beautiful Woman - (Writing completed to Final script) unproduced

(written 2003-2011)

  • Stefanos of Limassol - (2003-2011, published)
  • So Much Joy - Lisboa! - (2008-2011, unpublished thus far)


A Greek kisses Paris, by Bill Mousoulis, Neos Kosmos, Dec 15, 2008.

Director of Dreams for Life, Anna Kannava, by Simon Sandall, Reader's Voice, September 9, 2005.

Lucid Dreaming, by Julian Shaw, Film Ink, August 24, 2008.

A Stubborn Dream, by Keith Gallasch, Real Time 66, April-May 2005.

"A Guide to Greek-Australian filmmakers", by Bill Mousoulis, Innersense website, 1998.

Is Your Film Language Greek? by Bill Mousoulis, Senses of Cinema, Issue No.1, December 1999.

Are Their Eyes Greek? by Vicky Tsaconas, Senses of Cinema, Issue No.4, March 2000.

"Performing the Self in Australian Documentary Film" by Meredith Seaman, November 1999.

Womenvision, ed. Lisa French, Damned Publishing, Melbourne 2003. (the Seaman essay, above, is in this book)

Kissing Paris website

Anna Kannava and Bill Mousoulis, December 2017.

Back to Melbourne independent filmmakers index page



Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis