After World War II, Greek cinema circuits spread across Australia and were an epicentre of Greek community, language and culture that influenced many future filmmakers, such as Ana Kokkinos.
In the 1980s, roles for Greek actors were limited, so they created their own - first the stage show Wogs out of Work (1987), and then the sitcom Acropolis Now, one of the first TV shows to bring much-needed diversity to Australian screens. Besides the perfectly timed one-liners and unforgettable characters like Jim (Nick Giannopoulos) and Effie (Mary Coustas), it gave second-generation Greek Australians control of how they were portrayed - and what was acceptable to laugh at - and defied racial stereotypes that non-Greek actors, like The Comedy Company‘s Con the Fruiterer (Mark Mitchell), perpetuated on Australian TV.
Find out more about Acropolis Now with these resources from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).
One of the breakout stars of Acropolis Now was Mary Coustas' Effie. Coustas' portrayal and the character's popularity helped Effie transcend the original run of the TV show and find new life blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction with numerous documentary series, including Big Hair Woman (1996) and Effie: Just Quietly – Make-ups and Makeovers (2001).
The promotional video for Acropolis Now via YouTube.