The ABC’s television production of The Slap has been a high note in recent Australian drama. Christos Tsiolkas' eponymous novel has lost none of its sting in its journey from page to screen. In a special panel discussion preceding a cinema screening of its final episode, some of its key players – author Christos Tsiolkas, director Tony Ayres, actor Blake Davis – joined Peter Mares to explore its themes of morality, family and identity.
Tony Ayres is a principal and founding partner of Matchbox Pictures and an accomplished writer, director and producer for both film and television. His feature film, The Home Song Stories, premiered at Berlin and won 23 Australian and international awards including 8 AFI Awards.
Peter Mares is lead moderator with The Cranlana Programme, an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing the ethical decision-making skills of Australia’s leaders. Peter is also contributing editor at Inside Story magazine and adjunct fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for Urban Transitions. He is a former ABC broadcaster and the author of three books, including No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis (Text 2018).
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels, including Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award, as well as being made into a feature film. His fourth novel, the international bestseller The Slap, won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold, as well as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. Christos's fifth novel Barracuda was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. The Slap and Barracuda were both adapted into celebrated television series. His latest novel, Damascus, won the 2020 Prize for Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Christos's acclaimed collection of short stories, Merciless Gods, was published in 2014 and his critical literary study On Patrick White came out in 2018. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.