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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 February 2016
NEWS 6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Passion for the arts PANOS APOSTOLOU Melbourne-born Greek Australian Vas Katos has always had a love for the arts, a passion which is set to serve him well as the new managing director of AKA. Katos, former head of marketing and development of the prestigious Melbourne Festival, joined the global entertainment marketing agency, which has offices in the UK, US and Asia Pacific region, last November. "I can see myself staying here for a long time to come," he told Neos Kosmos about his new position, and also offered a few insights into one of AKA's current projects, Fiddler on the Roof. The multi-award-winning musical has been playing at the Princess Theatre since last December and will close at the end of the month. Katos says the story is highly influenced by the stories of Greek migrants and refugees from the beginning of the 20th century, as well as today's refugee crises in Europe and the Middle East. "Jews lived in Russia, Greeks lived in Egypt, Turks lived in Spain, and it goes on and on. Due to World Wars One and Two, these ethnic minorities were expelled from their 'homelands' time and time again. This story is so familiar to Europeans of past generations and is no different to the stories of refugees from the Middle East and Africa today." The youngest of three boys, Katos was named after his grandmother, Vasso, as his mother was convinced he was going to be a girl. "I was christened Vasso, but Vas is on my birth certificate." His parents migrated from Greece in the 1950s and met in Australia. "My mother was from the Peloponnesian town of Tripoli and passed away in 1997. My father is from Lemnos island. Their story is the classic European post-war story of hardship, friendship and success. Fiddler on the Roof is the story of my parents," he concludes. With two decades in marketing strategy, public relations and sponsorship management, he has also managed a number of projects that have had a Hellenic link. "I have been an adviser for the new Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture. I also led the project to bring Michalis Hatzigiannis to Australia for the Melbourne Festival's Sidney Myer Music Bowl Concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2014." His passion for the arts meant that when he was presented with a job opportunity to work in the industry, Katos took it. He even dropped out of his commerce degree, and has never looked back. When Fiddler on the Roof premiered on Broadway in 1964 it was quickly acclaimed as a masterpiece. It has won a multitude of awards for both stage and screen productions, including Olivier Awards, eleven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Lyrics, and Best Book, and Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Music Adaptation. Essentially a tale of dignity and honour, it holds a timeless poignancy and humanity, while bubbling with Yiddishinspired tunes that remain as melodic and moving as ever. Fiddler on the Roof will play for a strictly limited time and is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. The show is on in Melbourne until 29 February, opening in Sydney on 23 March. AKA Australia is also currently working on Matilda and Ghost the Musical, two productions across Melbourne’s major theatres. For more information, visit www.fiddlerontherooftour. com/ Vas Katos with his wife, Nicole. Katos with Greek Cypriot singer, Michalis Hatzigiannis, during Melbourne Festival’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl Concert with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Fiddler on the Roof is showing at Melbourne’s iconic Princess Theatre. PHOTO: PANOS APOSTOLOU. Scene from Ghost the Musical at Melbourne Regent Theatre. PHOTO: GHOSTTHEMUSICAL.COM.AU Mad Max takes out four BAFTA Awards The Australian talent at this year's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards saw great success, including the great George Miller. Director George Miller. PHOTO: RICHARD SHOTWELL/INVISION/AP. The Greek Australian filmmaker's Mad Max: Fury Road came out on top in four categories including make-up, production design, editing and costume design. Released last year, the film received a total of seven nominations at the BAFTAs for its cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, make-up and hair, sound and special visual effects. Cinematographer John Seale, who came out of retirement to do the sound and special effects for the block- buster, missed out to The Revenant's Emmanuel Lubezki for the award for best cinematography. Nonetheless the 70-year-old said the film was well worth it. "I've been retiring after a lot of films lately and this one was an exception," Mr Seale told the ABC. "It proves that back home in Australia we have some of the best technicians in the world, and this film will help that cause considerably." In two weeks time Mad Max will once again be in the spotlight at the Oscars with 10 nominations, emerging as the most nominated Australian film after Moulin Rouge in 2001.
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