Meet the Committee
The name of the incorporated association is the Friends of the Astor Association Incorporated. FOTAA Inc operates as a non-profit organisation.
- To provide a forum for people interested in the preservation and promotion of pre-multiplex film culture to share this interest and further develop their knowledge and appreciation of the single-screen film going experience as embodied by the Astor Theatre.
- To preserve, protect, and maintain the architectural heritage of the Astor Theatre as Melbourne’s longest operating, purpose built, single-screen cinema and to continue utilisation of the building for its original purpose.
- To showcase the Astor Theatre as a venue for the screening of 35mm and 70mm films and so provide audiences with the opportunity to experience these original formats in the digital age.
- To develop the Astor Theatre as a popular centre for moving images on film, video and new media into the 21st Century.
- To build public awareness of, and appreciation for, the Astor Theatre and the unique film-going experience it offers to benefit the wider population by encouraging the greatest possible access to film related activities in this heritage venue.
- To foster relationships with other film-centric bodies, heritage movie theatres and film preservation archives in Australia and internationally.
- To secure public and private funding to promote the objectives of the Association.
Who’s Who in the FOTAA Committee
Top (left to right): Jose Cleisson De Freitas Santos (prev. committee member), Alison Finch, Parthena Simone, Branko Kezerle, Arabella Daniel, Anita Dal Tio, Natasha Wickramanayake
Bottom (left to right): Kathy Booth, Scott Buszard, Ottilie Buszard (prev. committee member)
Not in attendance: Robyn Walton, Lucinda Mason
OFFICERS of the ASSOCIATION
Branko Kezerle: (President); Broad and vast experience in Event & Project management, Musician in 3 bands & a past Photographer. Massive passion for cinema & to bring people together.
Alison Finch: (Vice-President) Currently Collections Registrar for the Australian Ballet and studying interior design; passionate about building conservation stemming from background in Architecture and Cultural Heritage; member of the Art Deco and Modernism Society.
Arabella Daniel: (Secretary) Currently: Full-time mother of 2 girls; Voluntary Roles esp School (fundraising; social events; library etc); enjoy drawing & calligraphy Past life: Electrical Engineer/Project Manager/Telecommunications Consultant); deep passion for community connection.
Natasha Wickramanayake: (Treasurer) Currently CPA/Financial Accountant with Visionstream; passionate about using her skills for a good cause eg:- 3 years tutoring Sudanese refugee kids on the weekends; believes in the preservation of historic buildings like the Astor.
Anita Dal Tio: (Past FOTAA Committee Member) (Ordinary Member) Over 15 years experience in customer/client engagement, facilitation and FOH management for Melbourne Museum, Alliance Catering and EPICURE.
Lucinda Mason: (Ordinary Member) Works as a technical writer (more details to come).
Kathy Booth: (Ordinary Member) Works at the ABC at Southbank for past 3.5 years; in Radio, coordinating all studios & on-air requirements for JJJ ,774 and Radio National. Previously with Channel 9 for 13 years in Video-Tape/Post Production for companies like Complete Post.
Parthena Simone: (Ordinary Member) National Sales Manager for an online company: newhomesguide.com.au; Attended the Astor as a child and so holds special memories for her; loves movies, dinners and travelling.
Scott Buszard: (Ordinary Member) Project and Support Engineer in the SCADA industry; manages systems and software that run the Electricity, Gas and Water supplies; Also a Software Engineer – and written his first app recently (for Android).
(Ordinary Member) Worked in university teaching and research in English literature and social history. Active in book reviewing (newspaper, website) and author interviewing (events, website). Interested in heritage building conservation, visual and decorative arts, classic films, performance arts.
Extended Bios for Committee Members
Branko Kezerle, President
Broad and vast experience in event & large scale project management, entertainer & musician in 3 bands, photographer and a massive passion to bring people together! “Member of this committee to help promote and revitalize the Astor patronage via introducing new events like combining live music with or pre-film hence provide a unique social experience for the film and music goers alike! The Astor is as special to me today as it has been for the 25 years! Each and every visit over this time has always been unique and special so keen to ensure this film going experience can continue well into the future!”
Arabella Daniel, Secretary
“I remember the night of October 7th 1992 very clearly; the night my cinema life changed forever…
On my way to the National Theatre to see The Church in concert, my friend insisted on stopping off at a cinema for a Choc Top…an odd request, I thought….until I walked through the doors of The Astor Theatre for the first time.
The instant sense of awe and wonder; the immediate feeling that my previous cinema life had been utterly deprived and the conviction that I would never see a movie at another cinema ever again, was cemented.
After 25 years, my passion for The Astor has only grown stronger, and been passed on to my two girls. I wish for everyone in Melbourne, in Australia and the world, for generations to come, to experience movies the way they are shown at The Astor; in beautiful architectural surrounds with a deep respect for the art form.”