It is with a great deal of sadness that Diasporic heard the passing away of Anna Kannava on May 5th, 2011. This is for two reasons.
Firstly because she was such a great fighter who thrived in film making and lately in literature against overwhelming personal health issues and secondly because for a while we wanted to include extracts from Anna’s work within the Diasporic pages and all this time we didn’t.
At Diasporic Literature Spot we would like to express our deepest sympathy to the immediate family, mother Frederika Apokidou, brothers George and Nino, and those friends who knew her and we close to her. One of these friends was the well known and successful film maker Bill Mousoulis who had this to say…
Anna Kannava, 1959 – 2011
Dear friends, colleagues, and fellow film lovers in Melbourne -- It is with great sadness I relay to you the news of the passing away of one of Australia's best independent filmmakers, Anna Kannava. Anna died yesterday, May 5, at the age of 51, after having contracted cancer about a year ago. For most of her adult life she struggled with poor health, but she never let that stop her from making films, and indeed in recent years she turned her hand to novel-writing as well. My own estimation is that she was a fiercely talented artist, and an abundant human being. She connected with many people in a strong, unique way, and she leaves behind for the rest of the world two supreme personal documentaries, two innovative experimental feature films, and two absolutely brilliant novels, which are currently in the hands of a publisher and will hopefully see the light of day soon. Anna, we will not forget you. For more info on her, go to the web page http://www.innersense.com.au/mif/kannava.html Bill
Also, another friend of the family, Gabrielle Morgan, wrote these words:
Anna was away filming in France, and it was a few months before I sent her my first email. At the time, her health was troubling her. She told me she was going to concentrate on her writing in the future as she was finding the effort of film making too tiring. She had already completed a novel, “Stefanos of Limassol,” and Bill asked me if I would be interested in helping her edit this work. I was pleased to help and Anna forwarded me the manuscript.
When I read it, I was immediately impressed. She had an ability to penetrate into the very heart of the characters she had created. I found a rare depth to her writing, which to my mind lifted her above the average writer. She had the ability to hold the reader’s interest with indelible images that would lastingly linger in the mind.
As I worked with Anna editing the novel, our daily emails and phone calls became an essential part of our lives. As well as building a genuine friendship, we developed a real trust in each other’s judgment. I felt strongly that I should in no way alter the style of Anna’s writing or alter the poetic quality of her work, while at the same time correcting any grammatical errors or awkward sentence structure.
It was some time before I actually got to meet Anna in person, because of the distance we lived apart, but when I did meet her I was overwhelmed by her tenacious spirit in the light of her debilitating illness. The passion she felt for her creative life far surpassed the annoyance of any pain she suffered. Anna was feisty. She was direct and had the ability to challenge you, make you think about things, but always you knew she was thinking of you. She was generous, saw the humour in a situation and always showed great interest in what you had to say. She was unspoilt and completely self effacing.
No sooner had Anna finished her first novel than she was well into her second novel, “So Much Joy – Lisboa.” Again the new characters she created had a life of their own and were well delineated.
Through her novels and her films the essential Anna lives. She has left us a treasury of images and words inspired by her enduring love and dedication to her craft.
Anna, you will not be forgotten.
For us, Anna was a real artist, a real fighter, a happy personality that inspired us. One who will never be forgotten by all those who were lucky enough to have met her. At Diasporic Literature we promise to add parts or whole extracts from her work in the near future.