Anna Kannava was born in Limassol, Cyprus, on August 23, 1959, to mother Frederika and father Nicos. In the years after that, she was joined in life by her younger brothers, George and Ninos.

The Kannavas family migrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1974, when Anna was 15 years of age. Anna finished her high schooling and decided to study drama, film, screenwriting, photography and fine art at Deakin University (Rusden College), and she graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Education in Drama and Media.

She undertook further study, in writing and directing for film especially, during the '80s and '90s.

In the 1980s, as she started making her own short films, she also worked as an actor with a Theatre in Education team and a Greek Theatre company. She directed several plays herself, including one play at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne.


In 1985, she travelled extensively to Europe and returned to her homeland Cyprus, to film her acclaimed documentary Ten Years After ... Ten Years Older, about her grandmother.

Around 1990, when she was 30 years old, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with the condition of scleroderma (a hardening and tightening of the skin, as well as the lungs and organs). This was a setback initially, but she soon learnt to live with it and was inspired to keep being a film artist.

In 1997, she completed her feature documentary film, The Butler, about her brother Ninos and also herself and her family and their history migrating to Australia and trying to make a life for themselves.

In the 2000s, she turned her focus away from herself and her family in her film work, and began writing various fictional stories. Several feature screenplays were written, and eventually, two
narrative features were completed, Dreams for Life and Kissing Paris.


Also during this time, she started writing novels. The first one, Stefanos of Limassol, was published by Ilura Press in 2012, whilst her second novel, So Much Joy – Lisboa!, remains unedited and unpublished.

After travelling almost every year in the 2000s to Europe, sickness prevented her from doing so again in 2010, and she began struggling with cancer that was in her body, eventually succumbing to it on May 5, 2011. She died aged 51.

In the years afterwards, she and her work have not been forgotten, as there have been various screenings and tributes.

Anna Kannava affected everyone she came into contact with, filmmakers but also ordinary people. Her passion was extraordinary. She is missed and remembered.

© Anna Kannava Estate 2023