This is the story of Andreas Arestides, the father I never knew. He died when I was four.
He was born in Cyprus in 1896. He left there as a youth, leaving behind his mother, four sisters and rural poverty. Then he spent 2 years in Egypt working to save the boat fare to Australia. It was 1913 when he arrived. He was 17 years old.
This is a film about Sydney post WW1, the roaring 20s and the bohemians who came to my father’s restaurant. From the 1920s to the 60s, in the heart of Sydney”s Greek Quarter, Andrea’s Pan Hellenica restaurant served hearty Greek fare. Greek men came there to drink sweet black Turkish coffee, play backgammon and gamble. And every Friday night from the 20s till his death in 1958, a group of bohemian artists, writers, poets and vagabonds also came there to dine and play.
The end of WW1 swept in a tide of high hopes and high jinks. Sydney was booming, growing up fast and frantic, everything was changing – what you read and wore, the galleries and picture palaces, the music you heard and the way you danced. His restaurant was a place of artists, thinkers, dancers, dreamers, writers and ratbags.
Andrew edited‘Fairweather Man’, an examination of the life and work of artist Ian Fairweather – winner NSW Premier’s Award for Scriptwriting 2010. ‘The Cars That Ate China’ for which he was awarded the ASE award for Best Editing of a Documentary 2008; He co produced and edited ‘Junction House Blues’ for SBS. Andrew also cut ‘Facing The Demons’ a powerful story of restorative justice which won a Logie and the UN Peace Award for TV Documentary in 2000; the acclaimed AFI award-winning, ‘Wedding In Ramallah’ In 2003 Andrew was co-recipient of an AFI award for Best Achievement in Editing a non-feature film for ‘Painting with Light in a Dark World’ In.
His last major project was Carbon An unauthorized biography awarded the‘Grand Prix’ Global Science Film Festival