Exciting times are ahead for Unitec’s Department of Performing and Screen Arts following the appointment of film director and senior lecturer Athina Tsoulis as head of department.
Tsoulis recently took up her new position at the department after holding a variety of senior positions in the film and television majors over the years.
The new HOD comes from an impressive filmmaking background including the critically acclaimed Jinx Sister, which was released in national theatres last year and is currently on DVD release in Australia and New Zealand. Jinx Sister has screened at a number of independent US film festivals where it garnered an Award of Excellence at the IndieFest.
Tsoulis continues to teach directing at Unitec’s Performing and Screen Arts and is actively involved in guiding the department as it transitions from providing degree level courses to include post-graduate studies.
Dean of the Faculty of Creative Industries and Business, Professor Leon Fourie, is pleased to appoint someone of Tsoulis’ experience to one of his departments and says she is the epitome of modern day academic leadership.
“She has proven her ability to challenge the norm and set new standards in performing and screen arts education.
“I have no doubt that Athina will take her staff members and students to new heights as they will be enriched with her astute leadership and can-do attitude."
Tsoulis’s other credentials include producing, writing and directing many short films including A Bitter Song and Revelation, which were filmed in her native Greek language. Her most notable short film, The Invisible Hand, has screened internationally at numerous film festivals such as Clairmont Ferrand and Creteil, and on television (Arte, Channel 4, Canal Plus).
Born in Greece, Tsoulis was raised in Australia where she grew up in a large Greek community, and moved to New Zealand as an adult where she forged her writing/directing career.
Tsoulis is a long-standing member of the Auckland film community. She is a life member of the Auckland Film Society; a founding member of the Moving Image Centre and NZ Director’s Guild; past Vice President of the NZ Writers Guild and of WIFT Auckland and currently sits on the board of the NZ Writers Guild.
She is also a PhD candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney where her research topic is on “Constructing performance for the screen: directors and new technologies.”